Monday, November 22, 2010
Growing up one of my favorite past times was helping in my Mom's kitchen. It was there that I found my love for cooking. There's one year in particular that stands out in my memory. I don't remember exactly how old I was, but I'm pretty sure I was in elementary school. This year my mom signed us up to receive the Taste of Home cooking magazine. This was a huge deal as we did not subscribe to magazines in my house. Those magazines for the year that we had them would become a monthly joy. As the day neared when they normally arrived I would run to the mail box as soon as I got off the school bus, all else forgotten, wondering what could possibly be the theme for this month. Would it be sweet berry pies or maybe perfect picnic dishes? Even long after we had ended our subscription I would go back and pour over the recipe-filled pages, looking for something that would catch my eye. So now years into the future when I have my own kitchen it's no wonder that as soon I see a new Taste of Home issue on the magazine rack at the local grocery store I'm pulled in like I'm stuck in a Death Star tractor beam unable to pull myself free. This recipe for Chicken with Cranberry Sauce is one that I found a number of months ago in an issue of Taste of Home. Unfortunately due to the time of year I was unable to find cranberries and had to wait for the Holidays to come around and now every grocery store around has them. It's a very simple recipe that doesn't take much time and is perfect for one of the work nights when you really want to cook up something tasty, but don't want to use up to much of that precious time that there's never enough of. Start off making sauce by putting 2 cups of either fresh or frozen cranberries, 3/4 cup of water, and 1/3 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop. It doesn't take long. The recipe I used said about 15 minutes, but it only took about 10 for mine to pop. When they've popped remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of maple syrup. The chicken is very easy, just put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the chicken. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes for each side. It's best to cook the chicken while the cranberries are cooking, that way the cranberry sauce can be served hot. The only downside with this recipe is that the sauce is a little runny, it might thicken more with a thicker maple syrup, the brand that I used is not very thick. To minimize the spread of runny sauce I just used a small spoon to spread the sauce over the chicken and this kept me from putting to much of the juice on at once. My wife and I found this sauce complimented the chicken very well. The sweet-tart taste went perfectly with the chicken.