Hearty and regional. Calvados is the apple-based treasure that Normandy prides, along with its chickens. The Normandy coast is not quite the same climate as the south of France. The terroir affects everyone and everything. The people, often with several layers of clothing to stave off the cold and mists. The chickens, who tend to plump with some extra fat, their version of layering. And trees, short, groomed and with trunks and branches braced for the storms that can appear year round.
We looked at several cookbooks and websites in search of a recipe that can be easily prepared and thoroughly enjoyed. This one seems the very best fit.
Of course, we modified it. We had already bought chicken parts, because Suzen loves white meat while I favor the dark. No matter. And, since I seem to be developing just the slightest reaction to mushrooms, Suzen left those out. So the picture above is what we ate, and the recipe below is yours to enjoy or adapt to your own whims.
“I don’t want to cause you any pain,” Suzen said as she put the mushrooms back into the refrigerator. She’d seen me eyeing them with disdain, if not fears of pain.
If, if only she thought that way every day. If I could just train her on one thing a day, then after a decade I’d be …
Well, I should not complain. With thighs and legs and with no mushrooms, this was a delightful meal. After all, the liquids are calvados and cream. We ate the whole thing with only two layers of clothing. Serve with sides of beans or peas or even summer carrots.
Chicken with Apples and Calvados
Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup apple brandy
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
Combine flour and seasoned salt in a wide, shallow dish. Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken in the butter, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
Combine the onions, mushrooms, and apples in the skillet. Cook and stir until the apples are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brandy, thyme, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Return chicken to the pan; cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.0 for 1/60th second at ISO-400
This seductive recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens new 365 Comfort Foods. Often, a comfort food is simple: a baked potato, meat loaf, brownies, …
As you can see from the picture, this recipe has many components. The ingredients list is long. The dish will take more than 5 minutes to prepare. And all of this is worth the effort. The combination of meat, fruit, and cheese is deeply rich, incredibly satisfying. This dish can be the centerpiece of a family feast, a dinner party, or just one night’s grand meal.
So, on a cold winter night, when you have some time, here is a recipe where patience will pay dividends you cannot imagine.
The new book 365 Comfort Foods provides an array of recipes for you. From the modestly complex, like this pork chop, to some dishes that are both comfort and fast. 365 Comfort Foods in on display at bookstores now. Do yourself an enormous favor, pick up and copy and salivate.
Apple Stuffed Pork Chops
Yield: serves 4
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅔ cup chopped, peeled (if desired) cooking apple (1 medium)
- ⅓ cup chopped onion (1 small)
- 2 teaspoons snipped fresh sage or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
- 2 tablespoons shredded white cheddar cheese
- 4 pork rib chops, loin chops, or boneless loin chops, cut 11⁄4 inches thick (about 3 pounds total)
- Ground black pepper
- 1 cup coarse soft bread crumbs from crusty country bread (about 2 slices)
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh
- Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Calvados or apple juice
- ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375°F. For stuffing, in a medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat until melted. Add apple, onion, and sage; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons cheese; set aside.
Trim fat from chops. Make a pocket in each chop by cutting horizontally from the fat side almost to the bone or the opposite side. Divide stuffing among pockets in chops. If necessary, secure the openings with wooden toothpicks. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, walnuts, 2 tablespoons melted butter, parsley, and lemon peel. Place chops on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Top with bread crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes or until juices run clear (160°F).
For the sauce, in a medium saucepan heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until melted. Stir in flour, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and pinch pepper. Gradually stir in broth, whipping cream, and Calvados. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in 1⁄2 cup cheese until melted. Serve chops with sauce
Source: 365 Comfort Foods from Better Homes and Gardens