Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chicken Baked in Spiced Mango Sauce

I received a great marketing gift last week: a case of Ataulfo mangoes, otherwise known as the Champagne variety, from the Whole Foods store down the road from where I work.  In addition to making what I must admit was a really lovely Gingered Mango Soup, my family and friends also ate a significant number of the fruits "as is," since they were perfectly ripe and so delicious.

But I couldn't just devour them all, tempted as I was.  So I devised another recipe to showcase the glorious mangoes.

Chicken can be prepared hundreds - thousands! - of ways, but still sometimes we get a bit tired of it. What, I thought, could add a bit of pizzazz to this plain ol' bird?

I didn't want to fry it ... I didn't want to curry it (often my first choice because I adore curry, so I needed to divert from my routine) ... I didn't want to just chop up the chicken and the mango and make a salad.  Hmmm ...?

I decided to cook the mango with some spice, to infuse a sauce with extra flavor and zest.  Then I merely poured it over browned chicken and baked it to caramelize the sauce a bit.  This was a fast, fabulous meal that was easily prepared after work, and it was even better than I'd hoped for!  It sounds so simple, but this dish really is exceptional.  It was fork-tender, and the flavors were vivid.

Sweet, spicy, succulent ... what great adjectives to use in describing dinner!

Chicken Baked in Spiced Mango Sauce

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup ginger ale
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease a medium casserole dish.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, the red pepper flakes, the onion, ginger ale, pomegranate molasses, and mangoes; bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a blender and puree.

Season the chicken on both sides with the remaining salt and the pepper.  In the same large skillet used for the sauce, heat the remaining oil over medium heat.  Brown the chicken for 5 minutes per side, cooking it in batches if necessary.

Place the chicken into the casserole dish, pour the sauce over it, and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes until sauce is bubbling.

Serves 6-8.


Unknown said...

Did someone say sauce?? I'm so there!! This dish looks and sounds perfect! Love what you did with the mangos.... nothing beats a good sauce!

Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf said...

OH, my, yes. I want to make these tomorrow night. Maybe I can even pull it off tonight! Love this combo. Chicken and saucy and fruity and must try now!

Chris said...

Candygram for Mango
Candygram for Mango

Oh, sorry, I must be tired and this reminded me of Blazin' Saddles for some reason. (Maybe it was your bean recipe earlier, lol)

Love the flavors in this chicken, definitely wakes up the taste buds.

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