Here’s a taste of food for Mother’s Day!
Apple Orchard Chicken
- 4 thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds [567 g]) total
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup [40 g])
- ½ cup (118 ml) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) apple juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 small apples, such as Gala, Jonathan, or Cortland, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick (6 mm) slices
- 1 teaspoon (1 g) snipped fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons (8 g) snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, patting off the excess.
2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until brown on both sides and cooked through (170°F [77°C]), 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
3. Stir the shallot into the oil remaining in the skillet and saute over medium-high heat until softened, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the broth, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar, taking care not to let the liquid spatter. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the apples and thyme. Let the mixture boil, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup (120 ml), about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the cream and boil gently until the sauce thickens and the apples are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes more. Arrange the chicken on four dinner plates, spoon the sauce and apples over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.
Jo’s Much Improved Asparagus
- 1 pound (454 g) asparagus
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon (3 g) snipped fresh chives
1. One by one, bend each asparagus spear near the bottom of the stalk until the tough, woody base snaps off; discard the woody base.
2. Put the asparagus spears in a deep 10-inch (25 cm) skillet. Add just enough water to cover the asparagus and season with salt. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pan, reduce the heat, and cook at a gentle boil until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
Hannah’s Pounded Potatoes
- 4 medium russet potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 pounds [680 to 907 g] total) peeled and quartered
- 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, divided
- 4 scallions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Put potatoes in a large saucepan and add salt and enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the potatoes are so soft that they fall apart when you try to spear one with a knife, about 20 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set them aside. In the same saucepan, heat the cream, 4 tablespoons (55 g) of the butter, and the scallions over medium heat until the butter is melted and the cream is hot. Remove the pan from the heat. Return the potatoes to the pan. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and top with dabs of the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter. Serve immediately.
Blanc-Mange and Strawberries
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water
- 1 (1/4-ounce [7 g]) envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1⅓ cups (315 ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
- ⅓ cup (66 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
Sugared Strawberries: Hull and slice 3 cups strawberries, place in a bowl, and toss with 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar. Cover and refrigerate until the strawberries become a little juicy, about 30 minutes.
1. Brush the bottom and sides of four 6-ounce (175 ml) individual gelatin dessert molds or custard cups with shortening; set aside.
2. Put the water in a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Shake the pan lightly to make sure all the gelatin powder is moistened, but do not stir the mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
3. Heat the gelatin mixture over medium heat, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk, cream, and sugar. Heat and stir until the mixture steams and the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes. Divide mixture among prepared dessert molds, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours.
4. To remove each blanc-mange from its mold, dip the bottom of the mold into a bowl of warm water for a few seconds, being careful not to let any water get into the mold. Dry off the outside of the mold. Invert a serving plate on top of the mold and flip the mold and plate over. Lift off the mold. If the blanc-mange does not easily release, repeat the process. Repeat with the remaining molds.
5. Spoon strawberries or fruit sauce around each blanc-mange and serve.