If you're a big FN fan (that's Food Network just in case you, like me, thought it stood for Friday night!!) then you probably know all about Robin Miller and her quest to make good healthy eating a lot easier and more fun. Strangely, even though food is my "thing", I have to confess that I don't watch all that much FN so I wasn't all that familiar with Robin's cooking, but when I recently picked up her book, Robin Rescues Dinner: 52 Weeks of Quick-Fix Meals, 350 Recipes, and a Realistic Plan to Get Weeknight Dinners on the Table, I was hooked. And so was my family--we all loved this Plum-Marinated Chicken with Balsamic Roasted Carrots and I loved how quickly it came together. So for this Famous Fridays we celebrate the dinner rescuer, Robin Miller! I promise it's going to be yummy!
If you've ever struggled with what to make for dinner (I know, why am I even saying it?) then I think you're going to love this book. Not only does it contain a bunch of really great family-friendly, easy dishes, it also creates a meal plan for practically every night of the year, so there's no need to fret about things like side dishes. It's organized seasonally, so you're making the most of what's freshest and best around you and Robin gives ample ideas of how to turn one meal into another or even 2 more dinners. Great for those crazy busy nights when it's 6:00 pm, everyone is counting on you and a private chef hasn't magically appeared with a three-course meal in tow!
This chicken recipe is a great example of how combining a few simple ingredients you're likely to have on hand with something a little more unusual (plum preserves) is able to turn ordinary boneless chicken breasts into something that feels brand new and unique. And the whole thing comes together in under an hour.
Plus, it's super duper delicious! Each bite is sweet and a little bit tangy at the same time. The sugar in the plum preserves caramelizes, so that the chicken has this wonderful layer of crackly sweetness on the outside, perfectly balanced by the crunch and zing of the balsamic glazed roasted carrots. Put some rice on to cook when you stick the chicken into the oven and you've got a complete meal that'll earn you cheers from your hungry crew!
So pick up a copy of Robin Rescues Dinner (or one of her other 9 cookbooks--where does she find the time?!!) and make mundane weeknight dinners a lot more fun! Have a great weekend everyone!!
Robin's Plum-Marinated Chicken with Balsamic Roasted Carrots-Famous Fridays
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes; Cook Time: About 30-45 minutes
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 2 1/2-3 pounds--if chicken is very thick, you may want to cut them in half lengthwise)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup plum preserves
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- About 1/2 pound carrots, scraped and cut into thin wedges (you could also use baby carrots if you like)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the chicken in the pan in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the plum preserves, soy sauce, mirin, and garlic. Pour the mixture all over the chicken, making sure it coats all of the pieces.
3. In another larger bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar and honey together. Add the carrots and toss well to coat Arrange the carrots along the sides of the pan with the chicken and in between the pieces as well.
4. Cook the chicken for 30-45 minutes, until the chicken is entirely cooked through and the carrots are fork tender. Serve immediately. This goes really well with rice or some starch that can sop up all the delicious sauce.
Note: Recipe adapted from Robin Rescues Dinner by Robin Miller. I left out the ginger because none of us (meaning me) really like it. If you want add 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger to the plum preserve mixture.