Quince is a fruit that is popular from the Mediterranean through the Middle East. We most commonly see this as a paste (Membrillo) served in a cheese platter paired with some sharp cheeses. However, it is also used as a base for marinades, stews and other dishes that call for a complex, slightly sweet flavor. More on membrillo here.
This is a fabulous book where the author explores creative recipes from her Middle Eastern origins. This book is beautiful, and the recipes, like this one, are very approachable.
Check out this wonderful recipe for Moorish-style grilled lamb that also uses membrillo.
For more recipes from this cookbook click here.
4 ounces membrillo
1/2 cup good-quality apple juice (preferably unfiltered)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
14 ounces chicken tenders or chicken breast cut into 1-inch-thick strips
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the glaze mixture, put the membrillo, apple juice, olive oil and spices into a medium-sized bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and mix well until the membrillo is broken down and the mixture is smooth. Mix in the chicken strips, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to overnight in the fridge.
There are a few ways you can cook this dish:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle in enough oil to coat the base of the pan, and, using tongs, place the marinated chicken strips into the pan (not too close together) and fry them for a few minutes on each side until nicely browned all over and cooked through. As the glaze contains sugar, the chicken may blacken somewhat as the sugar caramelizes, but that is OK.
You can also grill the chicken till cooked through and charred in places. Baste often using as much of the glaze as possible to get a wonderful caramelization on the chicken.
Finally, you can broil (400°F on convect broil or just broil) the chicken in the oven on a foil lined cookie sheet for about 15 minutes till charred in spots and cooked through