Two good recipes to share . . . and one that was a flop. Flash chicken saute with cider and almonds has a long title, but it was actually a relatively quick and easy recipe. It was so good . . . it makes me sad, thinking about all the people who eat tasteless, plain, boring chicken breasts. With just a little effort, a chicken breast can actually become flavorful and something you look forward to eating. The carrots were also good, if you're a fan of carrots. With the exception of carrots cooked with pot roast, I've always had a cooked carrot aversion (by the way - boiling peas and carrots and serving them plain is great way to make sure your kids never want to eat either vegetable when they grow up). However, when I saw glazed carrots in Everyday Food and realized I had all the ingredients, I decided to give cooked carrots another try. I'm glad I did, because they actually can be good . . . I no longer feel obligated to hate cooked carrots.
Honey Glazed Carrots
1 tsp. oil (olive or canola)
2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces, halved if thick
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
coarse salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots and cook, stirring once, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add broth, honey, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until crisp-tender (about 10-15 minutes). Uncover and cook over medium to medium-high heat until carrots are tender and liquid is syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes more (there should not be much liquid remaining).
- Remove skillet from heat; add butter and swirl skillet until melted. Season with salt and pepper. - Everyday Food
Notes: to make this dairy free, leave out butter or substitute with a dairy-free butter alternative. The carrots are pretty sweet, so it might seem strange to add salt at the end, but I encourage you to give it a try - I think it enhances the flavor.
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the original recipe calls for 4)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup cider vinegar
optional: 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tablespoons whole salted almonds, coarsely chopped
- In a 10-inch saute pan (not nonstick), boil down broth until it is reduced by about two-thirds. Pour it into a container (a bowl or glass measuring cup) and set aside. Rinse and dry pan.
- Lightly coat pan with olive oil and heat over high heat. Place chicken breasts in pan, season with salt and pepper. Lightly brown them on both sides. Lower heat to medium low and cook uncovered for about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Make the sauce by adding cider vinegar and garlic to the pan. Boil, scraping up the brown bits in the pan, until the vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup (hint: place 1/4 cup of water in the pan before you begin cooking to have a reference point for estimating 1/4 cup vinegar). Stir in the reserved broth and boil 2 minutes, or until sauce is rich-tasting. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter (if using). Immediately pour sauce over chicken, top with almonds, and serve.
Note: I didn't add butter to the sauce and I thought it was really good without it. I imagine it might be even better with butter, but if you want to cut fat and calories, you won't miss the butter. - The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
About the macaroni and cheese . . . the recipe was from Ellie Krieger and included a lot more butternut squash puree than cheese . . . I made it a while back and froze it, then baked it to go with this meal. Ken ate his, but mine went in the trash. Yuck. I usually like Ellie Krieger's healthy recipes - not sure what happened with this one!