Hey everyone, how's every little thing going?
I've been keeping pretty busy with work lately but have to admit, I've been doing a good job at keeping things in balance.
Enjoying the little things like reading a good book, hiking and swimming, or savouring the cooking of a good meal and a nice glass of wine.
And tonight I felt especially good.
I went for a really long walk with the dog to the farmer's market, and while I walked, I remembered a recipe I saw in Gourmet Magazine for braised chicken and apples. The farmer's market had beautiful apples featured and I still have swiss chard and spinach in my garden.
So I picked up a bunch of apples, hit my garden, and came home to create a comfort meal for fall: Braised Chicken with Apples and Sage, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Spinach.
It turned out to be a wonderfully rustic, comforting, and delicious meal with the flavours all going together perfectly.
The Poolboy and I shared a nice bottle of Shiraz, enjoying the warmth of candlelight in the living room after we finished eating.
All in all, it was exactly what my soul needed.
I hope you enjoy!
Braised Chicken with Apples and Sage
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet magazine
4 chicken breasts (you can use boneless skinless or bone in skin on - whatever you prefer)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 to 3)
2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage (rosemary would work well too)
Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken well, turning over once, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add butter, brown sugar, apples, walnuts and shallots to fat in skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are browned, about 5 minutes.
Add broth, vinegar, and sage and deglaze skillet by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet skin side down along with any juices accumulated on plate. Reduce heat and simmer, loosely covered, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly reduced, 30-35 minutes.
Serve with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed swiss chard.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 medium head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2-3 tablespoons butter, softened
3-4 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup milk
kosher salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Drizzle garlic with olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop. Stir in butter, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper.
Remove the garlic from the oven, and cut in half. Squeeze the softened cloves into the potatoes. Blend potatoes with an electric mixer until desired consistency is achieved.
Sauteed Swiss Chard and Spinach
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 10 oz. bag baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp white vinegar to taste
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Wash and dry the chard, then remove the stems from the leaves.
Chop the stems into 1/2-inch lengths and set them aside.
Roll the leaves together into a big log, as if you were making a chiffonade of basil, and slice thin strips by cutting perpendicular to the log.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan, and when it is hot, add the garlic and the chard stems. Sauté, stirring often, until the garlic just starts to brown and the stems are softening up.
Add the sliced chard leaves and the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring the mixture until what you’ve put in is cooked down enough to make room for the next handfuls. Once all the chard and spinach is in the pan, put a lid on it and wait for about a minute or two.
Remove the lid, stir, add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
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