Apple Chicken

Apples remind me of the fall, which is my favorite season, and not just because its my birthday. And, lately I have been much more adventurous about cooking with them in savory dishes.

Also, my latest and greatest obsession is Brie cheese. I tried it last month for the 1st time and I was hooked.

These two great tastes that taste great together are found in Deborah's apple chicken recipe, and you must make this chicken. It is fabulous. I have had it 4 times in the last 2 weeks! It is super easy, and ultramega delicious.

Deborah's Apple Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast, butterflied
2 small to medium apples, diced
4 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
4 slices brie cheese
1 cups apple cider
1 cups chicken broth
tooth picks

Preheat the oven to 450F. Warm 1 tablespoon butter in a large, non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and saute until softened. Set the saute pan aside because you will need it again. Tuck a slice of Brie and several pieces of apple into the pocket of the chicken breasts. Close with toothpicks. Repeat for all breasts. This will empty the saute pan.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pat a little flour onto both sides of each chicken breast.

In the saute pan, warm 1 tablespoon butter over high heat. When the butter foams add the chicken breasts and brown them on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a foil lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Pam, and put it into the oven for 15-20 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce.

Pour the cider and broth into the saute pan to deglaze. Bring to a boil over high heat until reduced by about 1/2 cup. Use as a gravy when serving the chicken.


Candied Cranberries

I am normally not a huge fan of cranberries. My sweet tooth just won't accept tart. But this recipe caught my eye in Cooking Light magazine because these cranberries are sweet, festive, beautiful, and an inexpensive homemade gift! I just love how pretty they are!

Here is the recipe. It makes about three cups cranberries.

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup superfine sugar OR 3/4 cup regular sugar ground fine in food processor or blender

1) Rinse and drain cranberries. Pick out stems and any soft or mushy cranberries. I usually fill the sink with cool water...the best cranberries will float!

2) Cook sugar and water in medium pan over low heat. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Bring liquid to a bare simmer so that bubbles lightly break the surface. DO NOT BOIL. Remove pan from heat. If you accidentally boiled the liquid, let it cool for a few minutes.

3) Add cranberries to pan and stir. If any cranberries split, don’t despair. Pour the cranberries and the liquid into a medium bowl. Place a saucer on top of the cranberries to help keep them submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4) Put half the superfine sugar on a rimmed tray or shallow pan and break up any lumps. Drain cranberries in a colander (over a bowl, if you’d like to save the liquid for cocktails or to reuse it for the same recipe) and shake them well to remove all the liquid. Dump the cranberries onto the sugar. Shake the tray or pan to coat the cranberries and sprinkle the remaining half of the reserved sugar onto damp berries that need more coverage. Use all the sugar. Carefully separate any cranberries that stick together and let dry for a few hours.

5) Serve immediately or within a few days. The sugar coating becomes more dry and fragile with time, so they’re best early on when they’re at their prettiest.