You may find Western Winter Pears in your market either ripe and ready to eat or they may be firm and yet to ripened. THis is because they don't mature well while still on the tree. Picked before they are ripe, they are allowed to mature off the tree, and they do not always change color when they ripen.
Winter pears are ready to eat when they yield to gentle thumb pressure at the neck. Then they are sweet and very juicy.
If they are firm and unripened when you buy them, place in a bowl at room temperature for a few days then use the "thumb test."
Store in refrigerator until you want to eat them out of hand or try them in this recipe. Spicy Pears and Chicken 2 fresh Anjou, Bosc, or Comice pears 1 cup orange juice 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1 medium sized fryer chicken, cut up 1/4 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup oil
Core and slice pears in wedges, Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine remaining orange juice, sugar, vinegar, salt and garlic powder in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Coat chicken pieces with flour, salt and pepper mix. Brown in hot oil. Pour orange sauce over chicken. Simmer 40 minutes until tender. Add pear wedges for last 5 minutes and simmer until tender and glazed.