A recent purchase of blackberries for this scrumdidlyumptous blackberry balsamic chicken & roasted asparagus recipe, sent my mind skipping down memory lane. When I was a kid, my best friend (& neighbour) Paul, my invisible friend Nelly & I would get under the huge mulberry bush (it was really a tree) that grew way down the end of my big backyard in Sydney. The branches, heavy with fruit, would droop down creating what I liked to call “caves”. Such a good place to build cubby houses, eat mulberries & hide. The mulberries were perfect for staining little fingers, mouths & good clothes. Mum would get me dressed-up to go out & while I was waiting for her, I’d sneak off down to the mulberry bush & gorge myself on the dark purple berries. As a child there were few things, if any, as scary as mum’s wrath. “Have you been eating mulberries in your good clothes?” she’d ask. Naturally I’d stand there denying any such occurrence. Paul always owned up. It was a silly question really to which mum always knew the answer & I always found myself in trouble.
Sadly mum wouldn’t remember those days now, the cruel claws of dementia have shuffled her mind. It’s cruel & horribly sad. But if she was okay & I cooked this recipe for her she’d have laughed and reminded me of those days & what a “bugger” I was. Precious memories now. Apart from the all-too-frequent smacks with the wooden spoon. Anyway these beautiful blackberries made me to reminisce. Back then the mulberries were only used for pies. I love to use berries in sweet & savoury recipes. And this chicken recipe was a perfect way to showcase the new season’s berries. In case you don’t know – balsamic vinegar & berries are good friends, they’re perfect together.
Balsamic vinegar is excellent in a sauce because it transforms into a sticky, glaze-like consistency making the recipe seem more decadent than it actually is. You can pay whatever you want for balsamic. Because I use it so often, I buy the large bottle from Costco. It’s from Modena, Italy if that means anything to you. I also buy my olive oil from Costco. Decent quality & flavour without the exorbitant price.
I served this blackberry balsamic chicken simply with some roasted asparagus that had been kissed with some garlic & lemon. This is officially my favourite way to cook asparagus. So much better than any other cooking method I’ve used for them. And so darn easy requiring only the smidgiest drizzle of olive oil.
My hubby & I videoed me cooking this recipe last weekend for The Fresh Aussie YouTube channel. I’ve not uploaded it yet because…well because I look hideous & I cried when I saw it. Okay, now you’re all going to run check it out. It’s not there yet but our intro video is. This recipe is soon to follow when I can work up the guts to upload it. Never trust your husband when he tells you your hair looks better natural than styled into the sleek bob you normally wear it in these days. Never. Or use grow lights in umbrella stands to video yourself. Just don’t do it ok. If nothing else, it’ll make an excellent ‘before’ video months from now. Because I just love those quick videos for sharing on Facebook & Twitter we’re going to start incorporating some of those in our YouTube channel repertoire as well as the longer videos. It’s all a learning curve at this stage so bear with us.
Well I’m off to make hemp & cornflake crumbed pork schnitzel with chimichurri or, a caper butter sauce, depends what I feel like when I start cooking. Oh & I need to buy a couple of bras before I do anything. Apparently the ‘girls’ have taken to snapping the underwire in my bras. If the video we just made isn’t a neon sign to lose weight then having boobs that can bust steel sure as shit is. And on that note…you need to make this blackberry balsamic chicken recipe: at only 317 calories & $3.40 a serve it’s a winner. Cheers for now!
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons blackberry jam (I use St Dalfour because it uses fruit juice to sweeten)
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- ROASTED ASPARAGUS
- 1lb (450g) asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
- pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss chicken, olive oil, salt & pepper together in a medium bowl or a re-sealable plastic bag. Heat a large, ovenproof frying pan (cast iron works brilliantly) on medium heat. Add chicken & cook for 5 minutes each side until browned. Remove to a plate.
- Add stock, vinegar, jam & a pinch of salt and pepper to pan. Bring to boil. Add chicken back into pan. Cook, uncovered, in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, turning twice during cooking, or until chicken is cooked.
- Add blackberries. Cook 5 minutes or until hot.
- To cook the asparagus: Combine asparagus, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper in prepared baking sheet. Roast asparagus with chicken for 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of asparagus - you want them to maintain some crunch & texture.
- Serve asparagus with chicken, blackberries & sauce.