Roast Chicken with Summer Cherries and Kale Chiffonade

Packing, bundling, planning, sorting.

More packing, more bundling...errands here and there for this and that.

The week has arrived and my college student will be off for her new adventures.  I find that I am getting giddy with excitement for her.

"Be sure to look into study abroad programs!" I have pointed out...several times.  "You should go somewhere in Europe."

"Maybe...but I think I'll go somewhere in Asia"  she replies wistfully.  

I love this response.  She is deciding what she wants.  She is in control of her decisions. She has opinions and direction.  What more can a parent ask for?  

If you were staying at our house for dinners this week, you would be a lucky guest indeed.  Every meal this week appears to be "the last supper".  

We will have eaten very well by the time we get to the weekend!  One summer fruit that we cannot stop ourselves from eating is cherries.  Another summer green that, try as we might, we can't get ourselves to eat more of is...kale.

When I spotted this recipe, using both cherries and kale in a sweet and savory sauce for roasted chicken, it went on the menu as one of "the last suppers".

The recipe called for kale chiffonade.  I didn't know what this meant?  Is it a type of kale?  French kale perhaps? 

No, it is  just a way of slicing kale.  Remove the stem from the kale leaf, roll up the kale leaf tightly and then cut thin slices.  The kale ends up in long "crumpled", or chiffonade strands.

My mind keeps flitting back and forth to my own college years.  These are fabulous years filled with so many new discoveries and experiences.

Studying abroad in Asia certainly would be fascinating.  This week I watched two films from Asia.  One was called "Kabei, our mother".  The movie was told from the perspective of a Japanese family affected by WWII.  Japan is at war with China and this story depicts the suffering of one family who does not support the war efforts of their country.

The second movie I watched this week is called "Dancing Across Borders".  This one tells the story of a young Cambodian boy with natural grace and dance ability who was brought the the U.S. and trained to be a world famous ballet dancer.  

The movie chronicles the boy's struggles to understand two diverse cultures, while mastering the rigorous training of Russian ballet technique.

Cultural movies and documentaries are my favorites.  I do strongly believe the more we understand about each other's diversities, the more we can see the similarities in each other as human beings all desiring to live happily, love fully, and provide for the well being of their children.

This meal is a sweet and savory combination of ingredients.  The sweet cherries and the tart balsamic vinaigrette balance out the spicy dijon mustard and the sharp kale.

Diverse ingredients come together to form a pleasing dish.  We're going to keep eating up those cherries...they were only found at one of the markets I frequent.  They're almost gone.

Kale will probably be there...I'll need to scope out more recipes to hide it into so we can slip more of this potent green into our diets.

Roast Chicken with Summer Cherries and Kale Chiffonde
(from Elana's Pantry)

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast (I used bone-in chicken thighs)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil  (I used olive oil to fry the chicken)
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen cherries (or fresh!)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 bunch kalechiffonade
2 tablespoons olive oil
celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry
  2. With a mallet or skillet, pound the chicken breast to ¼ inch thickness (if not using bone-in)
  3. Heat grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add shallots and saute for one minute
  4. Add cherries, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, until cherries are soft 
  5. Add balsamic vinegar, then stir in mustard and kale
  6. Cover and cook over low heat 4-5 minutes, until kale is just wilted, stirring occasionally
  7. In another large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat
  8. Add chicken cutlets to the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper
  9. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, until outside is browned and will release from pan
  10. Transfer chicken to pan containing cherry sauce and kale
  11. Transfer pan into a 350 ˚ F oven for 10 minutes or until internal temp. of chicken is cooked
Serves 4

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