While I was away on vacation staying with my friend Missy, we did a lot of cooking. I spent some time pouring through her cookbooks one evening and found a recipe titled Breast of Chicken and Pear Slices with Port & Stilton Cream. She had a notation next to it that simply said "Very good." When I asked her about it, she said that it's a dish that she makes often for company but hadn't made it in a while. We decided to make it one night for dinner.
The recipe came out of a 1987 Jr. League of Pasadena cookbook titled California Heritage Continues. There were a lot of recipes in the book that I would have liked to try, and I'm considering buying a used copy of the book from Amazon. (That would mean I'd have to get rid of a cookbook I already own, though. That's my rule. If I didn't have it, I'd be overrun with cookbooks.)
This chicken was so good. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to make it again. My husband was skeptical when I told him what we were making, but he was happily surprised that the sweetness of the creamy sauce and the pears went very well with the simply prepared chicken.
We couldn't convince the kids to try the sauce and pears, but one thing that was great about this dish was that the boys were able to eat the plain chicken. It wasn't any extra work. No need to make a separate dish for the kids.
Pears are in season right now, and the dish also uses fresh parsley, which is also abundant right now. I followed this recipe exactly except for clarifying the butter. I didn't take the time to do that.
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, flattened
- 6 tbsp clarified butter
- salt & pepper
- ¾ c chicken stock
- ¾ c Port wine
- 1 ½ c heavy cream
- 3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into sixths
- 1 – 2 tbsp Stilton cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- Sprinkle the chicken lightly with flour
- In a large sauté pan, melt 4 tbsp of clarified butter over med-high heat until just lightly brown.
- Add chicken. Turn chicken after 4 minutes and continue to cook until just cooked through.
- Remove chicken and transfer to a plate to keep warm.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then tent with foil and place in a 200-degree oven to keep warm.
- Add stock and Port to the drippings in the sauté pan and boil until reduced by about half.
- Add cream and boil until reduced to a sauce like consistency.
- In a separate small skillet, sauté pear slice in remaining butter for five minutes. Set aside
- Add 1 tbsp of the Stilton to the Port sauce and stir until completely melted. Taste. Add the remaining Stilton if you’d like a stronger flavor.
- Place chicken on individual plates, top each with 3 pear slices and some sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.