Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jen v. Rachael...Again

I am now really looking forward to Rachael Ray's new cookbook. The title escapes me right now, but I'll probably remember in the morning while I am watching her show and nursing. The other day, my daughter (age 2) and I were watching her show (since Rachael makes yummies, as the little woman puts it) when Rachael made chicken with apples and pears. Now the Little Woman has taken quite the liking to all three of these things, the fruit only because her baby brother gets it in Gerber form, so she had to try the big girl version. So I knew I had to make this for her. Tonight, she was a very happy princess. This recipe seriously rocks! It's going into the regular rotation.

One slight variation I did was in the mashed potatoes. I used shredded cheddar cheese instead of the camembert cheese. I didn't think that the kids would eat such an exotic sounding cheese. I knew I couldn't go wrong with cheddar though. I also skipped the lemon zest, chives, and thyme at the end. I also sliced the fruit without peeling. No time wasted on peeling and dicing. We were hungry and ready to chow down!

When selecting your skillet to cook the chicken and fruit in, plan carefully. Once you put the chicken in, you don't want to move it until it's time to flip after it's nice and pretty. I used a 12 inch skillet, I think. It might be even bigger. Either way, plenty of room.

So, here is Rachael Ray's chicken with apples and pears.

2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 Gala, Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut
into 1/2-inch dice
1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored and diced
Freshly grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 pound ripe Camembert cheese, diced into bite-sized pieces
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk, half-and-half or cream
10 to 12 blades chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

Yields: Serves 4


Halve the small and quarter the larger potatoes into bite-sized pieces and cover with water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and season with salt. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are forktender.

Heat the EVOO in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and cook until golden and firm, about 12 minutes, turning once. Place the chicken on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples and pears, and season with salt and the nutmeg. Stir in the lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp, then stir in the honey and cook for minute more.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Mash them with the cheese and milk or half-and half and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the potatoes among 4 plates. Slice the chicken breasts on an angle. Arrange the sliced chicken alongside the potatoes and top with the apples and pears. Combine the chives with the thyme and lemon zest and scatter over each plate.

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