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The Challenge Winner: Coconut Cashew Chicken

May 4, 2011 | Posted by admin

The top finisher in FruitFast’s inaugural Berry Cherry Challenge was a hands-down winner.  Four judges individually selected the main course recipe from 12 semi-finalist entrées and desserts.

Contest judge – and National Cherry Festival Queen –  Maria LaCross summed up best her major criteria in the selection process; “Which contest recipe would you most like to have another helping of?”  And they all did …

First Place winner - Mary Shivers

First Place winner - Mary Shivers

Mary’s winning dish incorporates several FruitFast products and the combination of grains, nuts and tart cherry juice made the taste unforgettable.

Congratulations Mary!

Coconut-Cashew Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Cherry Sauce



Non-stick cooking spray
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Nature’s Hand Coconut Cashew Granola
3  Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


1/2 cup Brownwood Acres Dried Tart Cherries, chopped (divided use)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a large dried ancho chile pepper, stemmed and seeded
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
2 oz. FRUITFAST Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
1/4 tso kosher salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

4 cilantro sprigs

Cashew Chicken2


Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Stir egg and milk together in a pie plate.  Pulse granola in a food processor for 10-20 seconds until consistency of crumbs.  Pour into a large bowl and stir in flour, garlic powder, cayenne, parsley flakes, salt and pepper.  Dip both sides of chicken in egg mixture then in granola mixture, coating completely.  Place chicken 1/2-inch apart in prepared baking dish.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until juices run clear.  Meanwhile, for sauce, in a food processor or blender, puree 1/4 cup dried cherries, chicken broth, dried ancho chile pepper, garlic, and onion until smooth.  Pour into a 1-quart saucepan.  Stir in cherry juice concentrate, salt, and brown sugar.  Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes.  Stir in remaining cherries and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water together.  Stir into mixture.  Cook and stir until mixture thickens.  To serve, place each chicken breast on a serving plate.  Top with sauce as desired.  Serve remaining sauce on the side.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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