Tuesday, September 20, 2005

chicken with apple juice

This summer, while visiting with my friend Jenny in Morocco, she told me about a dish she often makes for her husband and daughter after a long day at work when she wants to pull something together quickly. I was intrigued when she said that apple juice could be a good substitute for wine in cooking, because I like to cook with wine but don't always have it on hand or want to open a bottle (One way around this is to buy those little mini bottles of wine, but this is another solution).

Basically, this recipe is infinitely variable and will turn out well no matter how you adjust it. What I did tonight: I took a rather large, boneless chicken breast and diced it up. Then I dredged it in flour, salt, pepper, and paprika, and sauteed it in a bit of fake butter (Smart Balance- ), browning it on all sides. I took the chicken out, and then in the same pan sauteed mushrooms, chopped onions, and garlic. When those softened, I put the chicken back in, added 3/4 cup apple juice and 3/4 cup chicken broth. I simmered it uncovered for 20 minutes, then added about a half teaspoon of dried tarragon. I let it cook another five minutes (it had cooked down considerably at this point), added salt and pepper to taste, then stirred in two small spoons of plain yogurt. It didn't separate, and my friend said you can use sour cream or cream if you prefer. I brought it to a boil and turned it off, serving it over mashed potatoes. It made a really nice, sweet & savory sauce.

This was comfort food at its best, but the sweet richness was reminiscent of a dish that used wine. I might use slightly less apple juice and slightly more chicken broth if I make it again, but it was still delicious...

I would like to develop an efficient repertoire of recipes that I cook whenever I'm tired from work and can't think of what to cook-- the kinds of recipes that are easy but taste good. The weekends can be for assembling elaborate lasagnas or complex desserts... Last year, while getting used to my first full-time teaching job, I was not very efficient about this-- I tended to get lost in cookbooks and magazines trying to decide what to make at the last minute, picking elaborate, time-consuming dishes, wasting time at the supermarket to get extra ingredients, and going to bed exhausted. This year, I've resolved to cut down on this inefficiency considerably...

4 comments:

Alicat said...

That sounds really tasty!

First time at your site..I am looking forward to reading more! :)

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

I can make this! I'm printing this one. Anything over potatoes is a good thing. I may make this this weekend. Yummy!

D said...

I'm going to try this for my familia. (I am a vegetarian but they are not.) Thanks for the ideas!!

Deene said...

I followed Jon's comment at his site. Sounds like a tasty dish. I was just thinking you'd probably have a sauce that doesn't separate if you add the flour after you sautee the incredients similar to making gravy. just a thought.