I love a good crust on my chicken.
In fact, I don’t really care a whole lot for grilled chicken without a good spice crust of sorts. The crust locks in the super moist juices, and imparts the most amazing profile imaginable ~ spiced correctly, of course.
Oh, but wait.
There’s more to this madness.
Coupled with the deliciously sweet sensation of balsamic vinegar and strawberries will make your heart sing… it truly will.
Balsamic roasted strawberries? Mmmmm…
I know you can imagine it. I know you can even smell it ~ juicy, sweet, intoxicating…especially with a dash of vanilla salt and fresh, aromatic basil.
Silky sweet over a spicy cinnamon crust.
I can’t take entirely all the credit for this.
Actually, I can’t take much credit at all.
This recipe idea is a direct result of the inspiration of my dear friend Naz, at Cinnamon Eats. In the process of resigning her new blog, she’s offering subscribers a free ebook of recipes – including something similar to this one. She posted an absolutely gorgeous photo a few weeks ago, enticing and drawing us all in ~ with a title only ~ no recipe yet.
So, I suppose if after trying what I’ve created below, you want to try her original version (which YOU WILL – and I will be doing so as well), you’d better head over and sign up to be a part of her subscriber list – and follow her on Instagram and Facebook too.
It’s worth it.
She’s a gem – she is 🙂
Spicy Crusted Chicken and Sweet Balsamic Berries
1 large chicken breast
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp. coarse Himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground peppercorns
2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced (stems removed)
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla salt
1/4 cup fresh basil
Preheat the grill…I like to turn it way up to get it super hot, and then add the chicken at medium to low heat.
While the grill is heating, prepare the breast(s) by combing the spices (cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper) and rubbing all over the chicken – making sure every surface is covered. Top off with a little extra fresh ground salt and pepper, if desired.
Grill 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on grill heat and breast thickness (or “hen popularity,” as my hilarious hubby likes to say).
You know the chicken is done when the juices run clear after stabbing with a knife or fork – alternatively, you can slice into the sucker and make sure it’s fully cooked. The crust will help lock in the moisture…
Meanwhile (or before), combine the strawberries, vinegar, coconut oil, and vanilla salt in a large bowl. Allow to marinate and “juice” for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Toss the berries and marinade into a cast iron skillet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute juices.
Once the chicken has fully cooked and rested for about 5-10 minutes, slice and combine with the roasted strawberries.
Serve with fresh basil and a bit of spinach and cauliflower rice, if so desired.
Thanks, Naz, for the amazing inspiration!