Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Savoring Apple Cider

My favorite time of year to cook is autumn, and I am sure many would agree.  The rich fall flavors of apples, maple, pumpkin, pecans, root vegetables, squash, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves make it an exciting season to be in the kitchen.

One of the best memories I have as a child during the fall season was getting the first half gallon of fresh apple cider.  Apple juice is so inferior compared to the thick, almost caramel flavor of pressed cider.  Cooking with apple cider isn't done enough.  When I saw this recipe in this October's Cooking Light, I had to make it, especially since it combined sweet and savory.  Of course the incorporation of pecans into the recipe were also inspiring!   This was listed under the "super fast" recipe section and was so quick to make on a weeknight.

Cider Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice (courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine)
1 (3.5) ounce boil-in-a-bag brown rice
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound chicken breast cutlets
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup pecans
Fresh leaf parsley

1) Cook rice according to directions
2) Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes each side or until done.  Remove from pan.  Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen brown bits.  Cook the mixture 2-3 minutes until syrupy.  Add chicken to pan, turning to coat.  Remove from heat and set aside.
3) Melt remaining 5 teaspoons butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for two minutes or until browned.  Lower heat to medium; add pecans and cook for 1 minute until toasted, stirring frequently.  Add rice and remaining salt; toss well to coat.
4) Serve with fresh parsley.


nelle said...

Sounds great. I never know what to do with the rest of a bottle of cider.

Kristin said...

This sounds delicious. I love apple cider but it isn't sold here. This is a great way to use it too.