Featured Fruit: American Red Currant


American Red Currant (Ribes Triste)

These , straggly, thorn free shrubs grow 1 1/2 feet to 5 feet high with  reddish brown shreddy bark.  The smooth leaves have 3-5 toothed lobes, and may or may not be hairy underneath.  The fruit is ready in late summer, drooping in clusters from the stems just below the leaves – a lovely, translucent red, that makes wonderful jelly with many uses.  You can find red currants, as well as other varieties of  less edible currants, in cool woods, swamps, and ravines in many parts of Alaska.

Chicken with Currant Glaze

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

1/3 cup red currant jelly

2 T. lemon juice

1T. butter

1/4 t. salt

dash ground cinnamon

1T. cold water

2 t. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake chicken, uncovered, for total of 35 minutes, or until juices run clear (may take up to 55 if using frozen chicken).  In a small saucepan, stir together jelly, lemon juice, butter, salt, and cinnamon until the jelly melts.  Combine water and cornstarch, then stir into jelly mixture.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Spoon thickly over chicken for the last 15 minutes of baking.  This is great with rice.