Chicken with black currant juice and crème fraiche

Chicken with saft sauce

This may not be one of the most photogenic recipes ever, but it’s definitely a good one that is worth sharing. It’s also unusual in that it has black currant juice concentrate (svartvinbärssaft) in the sauce. The subtle flavor of black currant, paired with thyme and juniper berries, is an intriguing combination for this quick and easy weeknight dinner.

This recipe comes via my mother-in-law. I’m not entirely clear how common it is to use saft (juice concentrate) in Swedish cooking, but sauce seems to be a must with any kind of meat in Sweden and this provides an interesting twist. So if you had a boon of black currants that resulted in an overabundance of saft, here is a recipe to help you use up your stash.

Chicken with black currant juice and crème fraiche 
serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) svartvinbärssaft (black currant juice concentrate)
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 cup (230 g) crème fraiche
2 chicken bullion cubes
10 juniper berries, crushed
2 tablespoons soy sauce or mushroom soy
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh, minced (if using fresh thyme, add it as the very last step before serving)
*cornstarch if needed
serve wtih cooked white rice or wide egg noodles

1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and stir occasionally until browned. Remove from heat.

2. While the chicken browns, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Mix well to blend and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

3. Add the chicken to the sauce and let simmer five minutes.

4. Serve over white rice or wide egg noodles.

*Note: If the sauce seems thin, dissolve a bit of cornstarch in warm water, add to the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring well.

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