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Denise's Balsamic Blueberry Chicken

Serve with rice, bulgur, or couscous, and a green vegetable. 
Servings: 4
Author: Denise Pardini, Hotel Castello di Sinio

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Blueberry vinegar; red wine vinegar works if you don’t have blueberry vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 whole chicken (2½ to 3 pounds), quartered or cut into pieces OR 8 chicken thighs only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cup blueberry chutney (recipe below)
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, for garnish

Doctored Blueberry Chutney

  • 1 pint Blueberry preserves (or 500 grams), (make sure it is a chunky type, not jelly)
  • ¼ cup blueberry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)

Finishing the chicken for the last 15 minutes of baking

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • leftover marinade
  • 2 TBS chutney

From Scratch Blueberry Chutney

  • 1 lb fresh blueberries, ideally wild blueberries - not the cultivated gigantic ones with no flavor
  • 1 envelope pectin 2:1 (this means half the sugar needed to make preserves)
  • lb sugar
  • ¼ cup blueberry vinegar
  • ½ cup very fine sugar
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom

Instructions

  • Making the Blueberry Vinegar (must be done a week in advance or use Red Wine Vinegar instead):
  • In a medium saucepan, heat gently a quart of white wine vinegar. Turn off the heat. Add a small basket of fresh blueberries to the hot vinegar and allow to cool before putting into a clean bottle. Allow to steep for a week before using it.

Making the doctored Blueberry Chutney (see From Scratch Blueberry Chutney recipe below):

  • Mix together all the ingredients: blueberry preserves, vinegar, ground clove, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom.

Making the Blueberry Chicken:

  • Pre-heat oven to Bake at 350° F / 175° C.
  • 2 hours ahead of time, marinate the chicken in the ½ cup of blueberry vinegar and thyme. Put back in the refrigerator until ready to bake but do not leave overnight or the chicken will take up too much vinegar.
  • Remove the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the marinade for later. Put in a well oiled baking dishes. Smear each piece of chicken with a generous spoonful of blueberry chutney.
  • Bake 350° F / 175° C. for 40 minutes.

Finishing and making the sauce:

  • Mix the remaining marinade with the 1 cup white wine, 1 generous TBS of light brown sugar, 1 TBS balsamic vinegar, and 2 TBS of chutney.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the rest of the marinade mixture around the chicken and a bit on top. You don’t want to remove the glaze on the chicken so be careful with spooning the marinade on top. Bake for another 20 minutes at 375° F / 190° C.  Check often to make sure the glaze is not getting too dark. If it seems like the glaze is darkening, turn the oven down 10 degrees. The sauce should come to a good bubble.  Check the chicken by piercing the thigh close to the bone. The juices should run clear. 
  • Taste the sauce and adjust as needed. If it seems too sparky, add a bit of brown sugar.

From scratch Blueberry Chutney recipe:

  • First make the preserves: Mix the fresh blueberries, the sugar, and pectin together in a pot that is large and deep enough to allow the mixture to boil very vigorously for 3 minutes. Bring to a boil and set a timer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the bottom does not stick. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool, stirring once or twice to make sure any scum is mixed back in.  Allow it to set for 2 days.
  • Then the Chutney: Take the preserves and heat gently. Add the vinegar, sugar, and spices. Mix thoroughly to make sure the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Taste and make sure the balance between sweet and sour and spice is to your liking. I prefer mine with quite a bit of spice and a good bite from the vinegar, so depending on how fresh your spices are, you can even add another ½ tsp of allspice as I like to do.

Notes

Copyright Denise Pardini 2008 - 2020, hotelcastellodisinio.com