Hard Cider and Brown Sugar Chicken

cider chicken

You guys, this was SO good! I mean REALLY good! There was so much flavorful, rich, sticky, yummy goodness. The best part? It’s so ridiculously easy to prep that you will have it all ready to go within in minutes. Bonus, it cooks quickly too so you’ll have dinner on the table in no time! I served the chicken with my Easy Peasy Seasoned Rice and steamed green beans.

I absolutely LOVE the New England region of this country so it’s no surprise that one of my most favorite cookbooks is from a true New England girl, Jessica Robinson. This recipe comes right from her cookbook entitled: New England Farmgirl: Recipes & Stories from a Farmer’s Daughter. It’s a really awesome cookbook filled with easy to make comfort food. I followed the recipe exactly however, instead of slicing the chicken into strips I chose to slice my chicken breasts and pound them thin. To cook them all evenly and at the same time I used my Presto 06852 16-Inch Electric Skillet with Glass CoverThis inexpensive skillet is worth having in your kitchen, click here , to read more about why I consider this appliance a kitchen “must-have”. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup hard apple cider
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1-2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil

Instructions

Place the cider, brown sugar, molasses, salt, pepper, mustard and paprika into a large bowl or Ziploc® bag and mix until well combined. Add the chicken and allow to marinate for 2-4 hours.

Warm the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and discard any remaining marinade. Cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a plate for a few minutes. Drizzle with any remaining glaze from the pan. Serve hot.

 

Brown Gravy Meatballs Over Buttered Noodles

gravy meatballs

I absolutely love me some homemade meatballs and I could drink hot gravy by the gallon so I thought to myself, why not bring these two delicious things together? Brown Gravy Meatballs over Buttered Noodles is a really warm, cozy meal that is perfect for the cool nights of autumn. It’s also really easy to make and the best part?……………it’s kid friendly too! What kid doesn’t love buttered pasta and meatballs? My kids devoured this meal and even asked for seconds!

To make the meatballs, I used my Italian Meatball recipe but I just rolled them smaller into bite-sized servings. I like to bake them simply because you don’t have to pay attention as you do when frying but if you prefer to fry, that is perfectly fine too. You can even make these meatballs ahead of time which really speeds up the cooking of this meal. Simply thaw the cooked mini meatballs and add them right to the hot gravy mixture to warm through. So easy!

In our house we LOVE gravy and when making pasta dishes such as this one my husband specifically asks for his noodles to be very “saucy”. Therefore, I like to double the brown gravy so we have plenty to go around and if there are any leftovers, they will stay more moist in the fridge. You can use beef broth in this recipe as well but I much prefer beef stock as it has a much richer, beefier flavor. Kitchen Basics® brand is my go-to but any brand will suffice. Lastly, add as much (or as little) red wine as you’d like, no need to measure and be overly specific here. The red wine adds a really nice, rich flavor to the finished brown gravy. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 1 lb of 80% ground beef or a combination of beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices white bread, crusts removed and moistened with water

For the brown gravy

  • 2 cups beef stock, divided
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • splash of red wine

For the finished dish

  • 1 lb wide egg noodles
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

For the meatballs – Preheat oven to 350ºF. Except for the white bread, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, do not over mix or the meatballs will be tough. Break off small pieces of the moistened bread and add it to the meatball mixture. Mix into the meat and then continue to add more bread until it’s all combined.

Form the meat into bite-sized meatballs and place them about 1″ apart on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat® or aluminum foil. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Alternatively, the meatballs can also be fried in oil until crispy and golden brown.

For the gravy – Whisk together 1/2 cup beef stock and cornstarch in a small bowl, set aside. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a pan. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until golden brown and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups beef stock, Worcestershire and ketchup and mix until well combined. Add to the pan along with a splash of red wine. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and gradually whisk in cornstarch mixture. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add more beef stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.

To finish – Add the cooked mini meatballs to the sauce and stir to coat. Keep warm over low heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the softened butter.

Place the buttered noodles on a large serving platter and top with the brown gravy meatballs and sauce. Garnish with parsley, Serve hot.

**TIP – Make the mini meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later use in this dish. Thaw the cooked meatballs and then add them right to the hot gravy mixture to warm through. Proceed according to recipe instructions.**

Chicken Lombardi

chickenlombardi

When I came across this recipe I bookmarked it immediately and couldn’t wait to make it. Between the melted, bubbling cheese and the rich sauce it just screamed cozy comfort food. Let me tell you, it was every bit as delicious as it looked. Even my kids loved it and they are without a doubt the hardest sell of all. Typically they will put ketchup on literally everything they eat but shockingly, they ate this just as it was.  Jaw on floor!

I adapted this recipe from one that I came across on Facebook which was originally posted by a site called: 78recipes.com . For the most part, I followed the recipe as it was written making only minor adjustments or additions. I added sherry wine and thinly sliced prosciutto which really kicked this dish up a notch and gave it that little something extra in the overall flavor profile. The only thing that I would do differently in the future would be to take out the mushrooms. Try as I might, I just cannot get past their spongy texture. I am thinking this dish would do well with some caramelized onions in place of the mushrooms so I think I might give that a whirl the next time that I decide to make this. By all means though, if you love mushrooms then don’t change a thing.

Overall, this is a really a delicious, easy to make meal that is perfect any night of the week. I served it alongside seasoned rice however, it would pair equally well with mashed potatoes or any other seasoned vegetable. This recipe is an absolute keeper for sure!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz package of sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 6 skinless chicken breasts, sliced and pounded thin
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1/4 – 1/3 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt the 2 tbs of butter over medium-high heat. Saute the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove the mushrooms and saute the prosciutto until slightly golden and starting to crisp. Remove and set aside.

Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally and pound thin between two sheets of plastic wrap. Coat the chicken in the flour and season both sides with salt and pepper. Melt another 2 tbs of butter in the pan and cook the chicken over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and place in a baking dish, leaving all of the drippings in the saucepan. Cover the chicken with the mushrooms and set aside.

In the saucepan, add the broth and sherry wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the sauce all over the chicken. Top the chicken with the prosciutto then the Parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese. Finish by sprinkling the chopped green onion all over the top. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

**Tip** – To thicken up the sauce, add in a few shakes of Wondra (a gravy thickener) while it’s boiling on the stovetop.