Cherry Balsamic Chicken with Quinoa and Snap Peas
Why we love it:
- 1⁄4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup Dried Cherries
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 11⁄2 cups Water
- 1 pound Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 Lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Tarragon (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3⁄4 pound Sugar Snap Peas (destrung)
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
1. BALSAMIC MARINADE
Heat oven to 350. Place the vinegar in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 45 seconds - or heat it in a small pot until its just about to start simmering. Stir the dried cherries in and set aside.
Place the quinoa and water in a pot, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring this to a boil, then stir the quinoa. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover partially.
Cook for about 10 minutes, then give it a good stir. Cover completely and cook for 6 minutes longer then turn off the heat and let it hang out until you’re ready.
Meanwhile, place the chicken in a 9x13 glass dish and sprinkle ¾ teaspoon of salt evenly over the pieces. Pour the cherry and vinegar mixture over the chicken. Turn them to coat and place the chicken upside down (you should be able to identify the rounded “top” side of the meat vs the bottom. If the sides look them same then it doesn’t matter which side faces down first!).
Let all of the cherries settle to the side of the meat. Place chicken in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Slide chicken pan out and use a spatula to flip the piece over. Return to the oven and bake for another 8-12 minutes or until chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, trim the snap peas, pulling the string along the top to remove. Sometimes the strings are thin and tender and no still will pull away, its ok to leave them in this case.
In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. When it’s melted and sizzling, add in the snap peas and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Cook the peas for about 2 minutes, then flip them in the pan like a pro or use a spatula.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the peas are crisp tender and bright green, you can bite into one to see if it’s to your taste. When done, turn off the heat and set aside to plate.
Finish the quinoa by fluffing it with a fork. Stir in the tablespoon of olive oil, zest and juice of the lemon. Toss to combine.
Plate a scoop of quinoa on each plate and make a little well in the center. Remove chicken from oven and plate a breast on each plate (or, slice it first if the pieces are not the right size for your appetites).
6. FINISH SAUCE
With a fork, whisk the remaining tablespoon of butter into the vinegar sauce in the pan. Use a spoon to drizzle sauce and some of the cherries over the dish. Serve peas on the side and garnish the whole thing with chopped tarragon.