Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Wild Mushroom Salsa

A fabulous meal for a special night in with your loved ones, or an amazing dinner party.  Simple ingredients, that, when coupled together, create unequaled flair!  I served this chicken on a bed of couscous (I used Near East Wild Mushroom & Herb - saute 1 minced shallot and 2 cloves minced garlic in olive oil, then follow package instructions) with a mixed green salad.

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on or off

Spice Rub:
4 teaspoons fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

Wild Mushroom Salsa:
1 pound mixed large mushrooms (such as shitake, morel, chanterelle, and button) brushed, cleaned, and stemmed
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced tomato
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallot

For the spice rub: combine the fennel, coriander, and peppercorns in a small coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle) and finely grind.  Pour into a small bowl, add the salt, and stir to combine.  Coat the chicken with the spice rub and set aside until ready to grill (refrigerate if longer than 30 minutes).

For the mushroom salsa: leave the mushrooms whole and toss in a large bowl with 1/2 cup olive oil, thyme, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Saute the mushrooms over medium heat, stirring at least once, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.  As the mushrooms are done, return them to the marinade bowl, along with any accumulated juices from the saute pan.  When cool, remove them from the marinade bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving any juices.  Roughly chop the mushrooms and return them to the marinade again.  Add the tomato, vinegar, parsley, shallot, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss well, and add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil if the salsa looks dry.  Toss well again.  The mushroom salsa can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated, and then returned to room temperature before serving.

Grill the chicken over medium-high heat (skin side down if using skin-on breasts), and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.  Turn the chicken over, move it to the edge of the grill, away from direct heat, and continue to cook until the juices run clear when pricked at its thickest point with the tip of a knife, about 7 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the mushroom salsa on top.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Celebrate the Rain by The Junior League of Seattle.

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