How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mini Thanksgiving Feast

Cover art from a taste of cranberries and some tales too ....
We've been cooking new recipes at a cada semana pace lately, but have fallen a bit behind on the blogging thereof. It has been about a fortnight ago that I prepared Chicken Cape Ann, a stuffed chicken breast preparation from P. Ann Pieroway's delightful little book of cranberry recipes.

We are not quite sure how long we have had this book or where we got it. Living in the erstwhile cranberry capital of the world, we could have found it in any number of shops in our region. The author is from Cape Cod, where the berry still grows wild (if you know where to look), and has a number of food and non-food books about this corner of the world.

We chose this recipe because we happened to have most of the ingredients on hand -- that is the nature of our kitchen. It turned out not to be quite the quick dinner we anticipated, but it was delicious and rewarded the small bit of work it entailed.

I began by sauteeing the first three ingredients in 6 T of butter (I know, that's decadent and could probably be reduced):

1/2 yellow onion, diced (we did not have the called-for celery)
1/2 C fresh cranberries
1 ounce chopped walnuts

To this I added two ounces each of chicken stock.and cranberry juice. Here the recipe called for poultry seasoning and white pepper -- I used black pepper and a few herbs. I tossed this with about 8 ounces of bread cubes, and then chilled it while preheating the oven to 350.

The chilling is the time-consuming part I had not noticed when scanning the recipe prior to making it. In future, it would be good to do this part of the recipe the night before or morning of....

The recipe calls for 10 chicken breasts -- I think I used two, so there was plenty of stuffing for each. I could have stuffed a total of four, but stretching it out to 10 would be a bit thin. I split each breast and wrapped it around some stuffing, and put both breasts in a baking pan, along with the remaining stuffing.

Then came the somewhat tricky part. I heated two cups of chicken stock and 6 ounces of sparkling wine in a pan. I then stirred in one cup of light cream and continued to heat. In a separate bowl, I whisked 1 T of cornstarch into 1/4 cup of water and added it to the mixture, along with 1/4 cup of butter, cut into small cubes. I then stirred constantly as the butter melted and the sauce thickened and reduced.

When the chicken was baked through - about 30 minutes -- I plated it with the sauce.

A bit tricky, but a nice mini-feast that we will try again some time.

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