Do you think Adam and Eve would have been tempted by an old, supermarket Red Delicious apple left over from last year?
I doubt it.
But a fresh, crisp, juicy apple is one of life’s sweetest gifts. And far from ordinary.
At least they’re not ordinary at this time of year, when the new harvest is in full swing. You can get new crop apples at a farm stands now, and some supermarkets have them too. And even though we can buy apples any time, they are like all other seasonal foods: best eaten in season.
I bought a bushel of apples plus several bags of different apple varieties recently. Most went into pies, some cakes, baked apples, apple crisp and some snacks and stuff. But I still have some left over.
These are for cooking with savory dishes like this Roasted Chicken with Apples, Shallots and Mushrooms.
Roasted Chicken with Apples, Shallots and Mushrooms
1 roasting chicken, about 5-6 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil, softened margarine (or butter)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 medium shallots, peeled
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup apple cider
10 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned
3 tart apples, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/3 cup chicken stock or white wine
1/4 cup coconut milk (or cream)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and dry the chicken. Rub the skin with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a rack in a roasting pan.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Immediately reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and roast for 45-50 minutes, basting occasionally with the apple cider. Turn the chicken breast-side up. Add the mushrooms and apple chunks to the pan. Continue to roast until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees (45 minutes plus, depending on the size of the chicken). Baste occasionally with the pan fluids until 15 minutes before you expect the chicken to be done. Remove the chicken to a carving board, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Reduce the oven heat to 140 degrees. Remove the vegetables and apples with a slotted spoon, and keep them warm in the oven. Add the chicken stock to the roasting pan, stir, and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes or until sauce has reduced to the consistency of heavy cream. Add the coconut milk, stir, and keep warm over low heat. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Carve the chicken, and place the pieces on a serving dish surrounded by vegetables and apples. Pour the sauce over the sliced meat and vegetables (or serve separately), and serve.
Makes 6 servings.