Ginger Pear Chicken
Years ago I was hosting a dinner party and wanted a new recipe. My sister suggested a recipe for Pear Ginger Chicken she had learned from her roommate. As the kind of girl who uses recipes only for suggestions, I quickly took that recipe as inspiration and changed it to make a new dish I can call my own. It calls for Ginger Beer. Ginger Beer is non-alcoholic and is basically a strong ginger ale. It gives this dish a little tangy bite that Canada Dry can’t. If you can’t find Ginger Beer, feel free to substitute ginger ale and add a pinch more dried ginger.
I like to serve this saucy dish over tri-colored pearled couscous. It gives the dish some color and texture.
Ginger Pear Chicken
1 ½ pounds Chicken Breasts
¼ Cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 (15 oz) Cans Sliced Pears in Juice
3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
½ teaspoon Dry Ginger
1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Cup Ginger Beer
Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes and place in a shallow dish or zipper bag. Pour soy sauce over the chicken breasts and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or up to 8 hours.
Add butter to a 12-inch skillet and heat over high heat until the butter is melted. Carefully add the chicken. Leave as much of the liquid in the container as possible. The wet chicken will spatter a bit in the hot butter. Spread the chicken into an even layer in the skillet and cook on high until the first side is browned. (About 5 minutes.) Gently turn the chicken pieces to brown another side and reduce the heat to medium.
Meanwhile, drain one can of pears reserving the liquid in a small bowl. Mix the corn starch, ginger, salt and pepper into the pear juice. Set aside.
When the chicken is browned on 2 sides, deglaze the pan by pouring the ginger beer into the skillet and gently scrape up any browned bits. Add both cans of pears (one drained and the other with juices.) Stir the cornstarch and pear juice mixture and add to the skillet. Stir well and let the skillet simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. The cornstarch will thicken the juices into a sauce and the chicken pieces will cook through. Serve immediately over prepared cous cous. (Serves 4-6)
2 Cups Tri Color Pearled Cous Cous (This is sometimes called Israeli Cous Cous)
2 ¼ Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Salt to taste
Add couscous and broth to a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce Heat to medium and simmer 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the saucepan covered for 5 minutes. Stir and taste the couscous. If it needs salt add it ¼ teaspoon at a time. Serve warm.
** Note** If you can’t find the tri-color couscous, the plain white couscous works fine. (Makes 4-6 servings.)