A Fruity Curry For Grilled Chicken

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 16, 2007
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Aiea resident Melissa Ige, R.D.H. has been a dental hygienist at the office of Dr. Stephen Shoultz in Kaneohe for the past eight years, and has more than 18 years of experience. Melissa was born in California, and has been living in our island paradise for 26 years. Melissa and husband Reagan, who is a merchandiser for Kraft Foods, have a 4-year-old son, Cole.

Going out to dinner is a treat for them; both Melissa and Reagan are becoming wine aficionados, and they like to attend wine tastings. Melissa also has a side business selling Arbonne Swiss Skincare products.

I would like to dedicate this easy yet elegant barbecue dish to the Ige family.

There are more than 40 varieties of the apricot tree, and today close to 90 percent of world production is in the United States.

When purchasing, choose undamaged fruit that is neither too hard nor too soft, and avoid fruit that has cracks or white spots.

Apricots must be handled carefully, as they spoil easily when bruised. Wash just before consuming them and store them loosely, as they get mold when tightly packed. Ripen them at room temperature; they will keep for about a week in the refrigerator once ripe.

The apricot is very high in vitamin A, especially when dried. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, mucous membranes and good sight. Insufficient amounts can cause night blindness, impair sight, and increase susceptibility to colds and other illnesses.

Apricots are also rich in potassium and a good source of vita-min C. They are said to stimulate the appetite and help fight anemia. Dried apricots have a higher concentration of nutrients,

making them rich in vitamin A, potassium, iron and riboflavin. They are also a good source of copper and magnesium. When dried, apricots are mildly laxative and should be consumed in moderation.




* 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
* 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
* 3 teaspoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets (about 4 ounces each)
* mint sprigs, for garnish

Soak the apricots in one cup of juice with minced mint for about 2 hours, in refrigerator.

Transfer the apricot mixture to a food processor. Add 1 teaspoon honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and process until combined. Cook in a small saucepan over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until combined. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened; keep warm.

Preheat gas or charcoal grill. Combine remaining honey, curry powder, orange juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over both sides of the chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until juices run clear and inside is white not pink.

To serve, place chicken breasts on plate and spoon warm sauce over top. Garnish with mint sprig. Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 465 Fat: 4.6 grams Sodium: 258 milligrams Cholesterol: 68 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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