Chicken Breast Pueblo
The combination of piquant cream sauce with colorful stir-fried vegetables makes this chicken entrée special. It can be started ahead and takes but moments to complete.
- Whole Chicken Breasts - four, 6- to 8-ounce, boned and skinned
- Grapefruit Juice - juice of 2 grapefruit (about 1-1/2 cups)
- Orange Juice - juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Red Bell Pepper - 1/4, seeded, deribbed, and cut into fine julienne
- Jalapeno Chili - 1 small, seeded and chopped
- Poblano Chilies - 2 small, seeded and cut into thin strips
- Garlic Clove - 1, peeled and minced
- Tabasco Chili - 1, seeded and chopped (substitute: serrano chili, or a few drops of Tabasco sauce)
- Cilantro Leaves - 1/4 cup, roughly chopped
- Onion - 1 medium, peeled and sliced
- Vegetable Garnish
- Prickly Pear Cactus Pads - 7, thorns removed with tweezers, or 3/4 pound fresh green beans, French-cut if large
- Red Bell Pepper - 1 small, seeded, deribbed, and cut into fine julienne
- Clarified Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 cups
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Garlic Clove - 1, peeled and mashed
- Shallot - 1, peeled and minced
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
Remove any fat from the chicken breasts and pound them lightly to an even thickness with a meat pounder or the back of a heavy pot. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a zippered plastic bag and add the chicken breasts. Seal and marinate for at least 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Cut the cactus pads into fine julienne resembling French-cut green beans and toss with the red bell pepper. Set aside.
Heat the butter in a saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the drained chicken breasts. Cook on both sides until golden-brown, about 4 minutes per side depending on thickness. Add one fourth of the cactus-red pepper mixture to the pan. Saute lightly, add the cream, and cook over high heat until the mixture is reduced by half and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat another skillet or a wok over high heat. Mash the garlic with the shallot and oil in a small bowl or mortar. Add salt and pepper and put the mixture into the skillet. Add the remaining cactus mixture and stir-fry until tender-crisp.
To serve: Place a chicken breast on each warmed plate. Spoon sauce over the breasts and around the plates. Garnish each with stir-fried vegetables.