Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apples apples everywhere

It's mid-winter, it's mostly been cold, real cold. The snow has melted so everything is grey and muddy. And worst of all, fresh in-season fruit is scarce, unless you want to pay $6.99 for a pint of berries! More and more I wish I was a bear, or even a squirrel - I want to hibernate for the rest of winter. If you believe Punxsutawney Phil, that little rodent bastard who is afraid of his own shadow, winter will not be over until around the second week of March. Four. More. Weeks.

Since I cannot hibernate, I've been making the best of it by eating comfort foods. Cooking meals that include widely available, relatively in-expensive, ingredients like lentils, apples, and squash will make you and your bank account happy. The other night I made this recipe, and paired it with a mash of butternut squash and apples. This meal made me forget about my dreams of hibernation.

Apple Braised Chicken
Adapted from Weight Watchers


2 tsp vegetable oil
1 lbs uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium apple, firm, cored and sliced (I used Granny Smith)
1 cup apple cider
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cornstarch


In a large skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat. Toss chicken with flour in a medium bowl, patting off excess. Place chicken in skillet and brown well on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Reduce the temperature to low and add onion to skillet. Sauté, stirring often, until onion is tender and lightly browned.

Stir in apples, cider, chicken broth, salt, ginger and chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Then transfer chicken, onions and apples to a serving dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 to 3 tablespoons of pan juices. Combine cornstarch mixture with remaining pan juices, whisking constantly. Simmer for one minute. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Mashed Butternut Squash and Apples
Adapted from Weight Watchers


20 oz butternut squash, fresh, peeled and cubed
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces*
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


Place squash, apples and cider in a shallow microwave-safe baking dish or container; sprinkle butter over top. Cover and microwave on high until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Mash until smooth, but chunky; stir in thyme, salt and pepper.

*You'll probably notice in the photo that I failed to peel the apples. This is what happens when you do not fully pay attention. Neither Dan or I noticed the skin. I think most of it was pushed to the bottom of the dish while I was mashing. So maybe this was a time saver? ;)


  1. Hey, what's with all the swears? I forbid my non-existent kids to read your blog!

  2. I counted one curse in my last post. Stop being so sensitive. ;)