Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

One of the blueberry bushes in my yard is heavy with blueberries right now. Being a fan of savory fruit sauces, I used some of the fresh berries to make this dish for dinner tonight. It was really, really good. Served alongside some roasted fingerling potatoes, this was a meal worthy of a special occasion.

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This recipe makes enough sauce for four generous servings. If you are cooking 2 chicken breasts, only use half of the sauce and save the remainder for another time. I think it would be excellent on salmon.

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

2 – 4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (or favorite sweet onion)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen should be a fine too)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (you may want to add an additional tablespoon of honey if your blueberries are not very sweet – taste the sauce and adjust as necessary)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Place the seared breasts in a baking dish and place in the oven.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet the chicken was seared in (no need to clean it out). When the butter is melted, add the finely chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to caramelize. Add the blueberries and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and return them to the oven until cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

Serves 2 – 4.

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Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

I picked up 3 pounds of locally grown South Carolina peaches this week at Aldi for only $1.38! I used some of those peaches and some blueberries from our blueberry bush to make this crumble. We ate the crumble with a dollop of whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream or even just a splash of cream is delicious too.

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

4 peaches
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or substitute coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice or chop the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Add the blueberries to the peaches and sprinkle with the sugar (you can skip the sugar or adjust the amount to suit your taste) and gently stir to combine.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 


Blueberry Loaf

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I have five blueberry bushes in my yard. I planted three of them the year we moved to this house. I didn’t realize there were already two mature bushes until the next summer. What a nice surprise. The three bushes I planted are still small and not yet producing much, but the other two have quite a few berries on them. For the past week or so, blueberries have been ripening on one of the mature bushes and I have already gotten at least 3 quarts of  beautiful berries off of it.

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With the mild spring and plenty of rain, the conditions have been ideal for an abundant amount of sweet blueberries. I am just thrilled. Last year I wasn’t so lucky because the mockingbirds and squirrels were relentless and ate almost all of the meager yield of berries.

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This blueberry loaf is wonderful. It’s cake-like, but not too sweet. My oldest son and I agree that a slice of this blueberry loaf would be a perfect base for strawberries and whipped cream. It would be an excellent 4th of July treat.

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Blueberry Loaf

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to defrost the frozen berries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour and set aside. This helps to keep the blueberries to sinking to the bottom of the batter. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, with electric mixers, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Let blueberry loaf cool completely on a wire rack.


Blueberry Muffins

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I love this blueberry muffin recipe. The muffins are not too sweet and I feel that the addition of the whole wheat flour makes them a little healthier. Sometimes, I add 1 cup of chopped pecans (which recent studies show are very high in antioxidants) along with the blueberries for something a little different.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (you do not have to defrost them)
4 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray or use paper baking cups and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.  Combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened, but do not over mix. Gently mix in the blueberries.  Fill muffin pans half full with batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little bit of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

Makes approximately 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins.


Strawberry Salsa


From July 4, 2006:  I’m so proud…my six year old son made this salsa pretty much by himself. All I did was chop and add the mint. I have been testing the recipes I intend to use in my kids’ cooking class and this one definitely passed the test. It was my son’s idea to add the blueberries. It turned out beautifully and tasted wonderful.  This salsa was great on poundcake with a little whipped cream. It’s also great on cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.  Just brush a flour tortilla with a bit of melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, cut into eighths and bake until crisp. The measurements in this recipe are approximate.

Strawberry Salsa

1/2 pound fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and diced
1/2 apple, washed, cored, and diced
handful of blueberries, washed
sugar, to taste
pinch of cinnamon
juice from 1/2 lime
mint, chopped, to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve as desired.