Fig Grilled Chicken Dinner

 

Figs abound in the stores now. They are delicious all by themselves, but sometimes it's hard to use them all up before they start to be less than their best. That's when I turn to recipes like this -- they take advantage of delicious seasonal produce and offer totally new ways to use it.

This delicious barbecued chicken dinner is high in flavor and low in sodium. The sweetness of the figs complements the acidity of the balsamic vinegar glaze, and the spices (anise and chili powder) make it all seem like a barbecue, but without the heavy sauce and high sodium/salt content.

This dish is delicious, light, and teenager approved!

One of the secrets to chicken breast success is to cut the breast in half horizontally so that you end up with 2 thin pieces. It cooks much faster and more evenly that way, which helps it stay tender. Plus, by halving the chicken, you can halve your protein cost for a meal, too!

Fig-Broiled Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally (you will then have 4 thin cutlets)
  • 1 piece of foil
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar glaze (or use half the amount of regular balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 cup figs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup choopped pepper
  • Sprinkle of ground anise
  • Sprinkle of chili powder (we used ancho chili powder, but any good chili powder will do)

Heat up the grill or your oven broiler.

While your cooking space is preheating, place the chicken breasts on the foil in a single layer. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Add the balsamic glaze and top with figs, peppers, and seasonings.

When the grill is hot, add the chicken on the foil.

Cook until done, about 15-20 minutes. The chicken is done when it is firm in the center and no longer pink.

Meanwhile, make the pasta.

Mediterranean-Style Orzo with Salad

  • 2 cups dry orzo (rice shaped pasta)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 raw tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 cup arugula/spinach mix
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from half a lemon

Boil the orzo until tender; drain in a colander.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.

Cook the garlic until nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato, basil, and argula. Saute briefly. Add the chicken broth and lemon and heat thoroughly.

Top with Parmesan cheese.

Toss the greens with the lemon juice and assemble everything on the plate as pictured below...

photo

And for dessert?

Peach Melba

  • 1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt/raspberry sorbet swirl
  • 1/2 cup peach slices
  • 1/2 cup berries (microwaved for 30 seconds and stirred)
  • Whipped cream

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For more great cooking and meal ideas, check out the Nutrition Education Store! And if you don't see exactly what you want, contact me and I'll have it made for you!

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