Sunday, May 31, 2009

chicken with apple and leeks

this is jack's all-time favorite dinner. he gets crazy excited about it. my kids think it is especially exciting when they get to go outside and pick their own apples to make it...

- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons sugar (i never use this much...)
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 green apples (cored and sliced crosswise)
- 3 tablespoons Calvados or brandy (i almost always leave this step out and not one member of my family has noticed...)
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 leeks (white part only)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream

(i know the picture is not the prettiest, but i promise it is tasty...)

1.) melt butter in large saute pan over medium heat. stir in the thyme and add the chicken pieces. saute, turning the pieces as they become golden, 3-4 minutes each side. add the apple slices and cook, turning once, until soft, 3-4 minutes. transfer the apples to a plate and sprinkle with sugar (i, literally, "sprinkle" them with sugar... i think 2 tablespoons is excessive).
2.) pour off the oil from the chicken. pour the calvados or brandy into a small saucepan and warm gently. using a long-handled match, ignite the liquor. when the flame dies, pour the liquor over the chicken. Add the apple juice and arrange the leeks around the chicken. cover and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is tender, 10-15 minutes.
3.) using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and leeks to a warmed platter, leaving the ends of the platter uncovered. (i find this step to be pointless, i make the cream while the chicken is cooking. when everything is ready put the chicken onto a room-temperature platter with the leeks and apples, pour the cream and serve... but if you want to warm your platter and all that, feel free...)
4.) pour the cream into the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. deglaze the pan by stirring to dislodge any browned bits. boil to thicken the sauce slightly, about 2 minutes. season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.) pour the sauce over the chicken. place the apple rings on the ends of the platter.
serves 4.

away from peaches and on to apples...

any suggestions for fabulous apple recipes?

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