My younger brother went through a phase when he was about five where he was obsessed with cantaloupe. I remember him easily downing four or five slices at a time, which I didn’t really understand since I was such a picky eater. In fact, I used to regularly make fun of him because he told everyone that he wanted to be a cantaloupe farmer when he grew up. I was pretty sure, at the ripe old age of nine, that this would never happen. Poor guy, it’s cute now looking back and realizing that he loved the fruit so much that he imagined working in a job where he could eat it all day!
Anyway, whenever I see a cantaloupe, I think of my brother, and I recently realized there were no recipes featuring it on my blog. This had to change! So, I whipped up chicken breasts with an ancho honey glaze over tropical rice with cantaloupe, pineapple, and almonds. This one is for you Richard!
Ancho Honey Chicken over Tropical Rice
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worchershire sauce
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 cups finely chopped cantaloupe
2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 tablespoons canola oil
Juice of one lime
3/4 teaspoon salt
To make the chicken, heat oven to 350˚F. Place brown sugar, honey, vinegar, Worchershire sauce, ancho chile powder, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until brown sugar is dissolved and mixture has reduced to 1/4 cup. Sprinkle chicken breasts with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place chicken breasts on a grill pan heated over medium high heat and sear chicken breasts on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Place seared chicken in a 13×9-inch baking dish and use a pastry brush to rub half the glaze on all sides of the chicken breasts. Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and baste with remaining glaze. Bake an additional 2 minutes at 350˚F or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.
Meanwhile, make the tropical rice by mixing cantaloupe, pineapple, red pepper, and onion in a large bowl. Remove 1/3 cup fruit mixture for chicken garnish, if desired. Stir in rice, toasted almonds, canola oil, lime juice, and salt until well mixed.
To serve, place rice on 4 plates and top each with a piece of chicken and fruit garnish. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 869 calories, 29.4g fat, 9.3g fiber, 66.4g protein per serving
Cost: $2.85 per serving