CARIBBEAN CHICKEN WITH ORANGE RUM SAUCE
Just opening the oven and getting the aroma of the coconut-crusted, rolled chicken breasts stuffed with apples and almonds will transport you to the islands. The orange-rum sauce is inspired by the Caribbean tradition of using rum in savory as well as sweet recipes. In parts of the Caribbean, dark rums are preferred. The rum’s underlying molasses flavor gives your tender and juicy chicken entrée a deep tropical taste your guests will absolutely adore.
4 6-oz (170-g) chicken breasts, boneless
2 T (30 ml) Angostura bitters
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lg apple, peeled and finely diced
¾ C (129 g) almonds, chopped
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1 C (125 g) flour
3 lg eggs, beaten
1 C (75 g) grated unsweetened coconut
2 C (473 ml) orange juice
2 oz (57 ml) rum
⅔ C (173 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 T (59 ml) heavy cream
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Chopped parsley, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F(177°C).
Place the breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until very flat; remove plastic wrap. Using a pastry brush, brush breasts with bitters and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread apple and almonds over the breasts and roll up, securing ends with toothpicks.
Heat 3 inches of oil in a large deep saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat until oil reaches 350°F (177°C).
Meanwhile, place flour on a plate, eggs in a shallow bowl and coconut on a plate. Dip each breast in flour, shaking to remove excess. Dip in egg, then roll in coconut. Using tongs, lower chicken into oil and fry, 2 pieces at a time, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to finishing cooking, about 17 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
To make the sauce, place orange juice in a deep saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, adjusting so that orange juice doesn’t boil over. Let cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add rum and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time. Stir in heavy cream.
To serve, pour a little sauce on plates. Slice the breasts diagonally and place on top of sauce. Garnish with red pepper flakes or parsley and serve immediately.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 large or 8 small servings.