This is a dish based on a Spanish tapas, with twists. It gets wonderful, colorful support from a vegetable like simply prepared broccolini.
This delicious one-dish meal includes raisins, yet another food type sometimes critiqued but other times saluted for its antioxidant potency, or ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity). In one list I’ve seen, raisins are in the top quartile, right below strawberries!
What is ORAC? As I’ve read it, obtaining adequate ORAC is essential for promoting gene stability and slowing the rate at which cancer cells mutate into more aggressive cells. Whole foods have much higher ORAC values than supplements. The best way to increase your antioxidant status is within an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Foods with darker and deeper colors have higher antioxidant values. I also think eating raisins in a dish once or twice a month is essential to happiness.
On a completely different topic, this recipe gives a key flavor to garam masala, which is a typical spice mixture from India. Maybe it’s the “twist.” Buy it somewhere or make your own, listed below.
- ¼ cup red balsamic OR red wine vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- Rind of one lemon, plus juice from the same lemon
- ¾ cup seedless raisins
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tbs. garam masala (see below)
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Bunch of fresh mint, chopped
- Salt and black pepper
Make the dressing: Place vinegar, bay leaf and lemon rind in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Add raisins and let cool. Remove the bay leaf and lemon rind and transfer remains to a large bowl.
Heat the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet. As they begin to brown, add the garlic for a minute, stir and then remove from heat.
Slice the chicken breasts through their thick parts to make them half as thick. Sprinkle both sides of the new breasts with salt, black pepper and garam masala. Drizzle with olive oil.
Grill the chicken breasts on a gas grill until cooked through. (Alternately, heat some olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet and cook the chicken there.) Remove from heat and when slightly cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl with the dressing.
Add a little olive oil and the lemon juice, pine nuts and chopped mint leaves over the broccolini.
Quickly Sautéed Broccolini
Blanche some broccolini in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse under cold running water.
Add 2 tbsp. butter in a large sauté pan. Add some lemon zest and minced garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the pan. Heat for 2 minutes, turning to coat. Add some lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss well.
A typical Indian version of garam masala contains:
- Black and white peppercorns
- Cinnamonor cassia bark
- Nutmeg and mace
- Black and green cardamom pods
- Bay leaf