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Autumn Strikes Again

September 10, 2009

It was quite chilly today, despite the sunshine, which can only mean one thing: autumn is here!

For dinner I made pan friend chicken breasts and sweetly sour roasted/braised veggies. So good! I had thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts that I dreged in flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper and then fried in a “glug” of olive oil (one glug per two breasts) until the outside was nicely browning and getting a little crispy. For the veggies I thinly sliced a quarter head of cabbage, sliced up two carrots, and one large gingergold apple. They filled an 8×8″ ungreased glass baking dish almost full. Then I mixed up some a tangy apple cider vinaigrette (1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup mild olive oil, with a little powdered garlic & ginger thrown in) with some brown sugar and tossed the veggies in it. They got baked at 350F for about 40 minutes.

Both were something of an experiment but they turned out really well! The chicken didn’t really stay crisp on the outside but was very tender and juicy and chicken-y tasting. The vegetables, which smelled nice when baking I was a little worried about, especially the cabbage, but that turned out best of all! Next time I would add a half a head, instead of just a quarter. Even the thick parts, while not really crisp, had a nice bite to them and were not overcooked at all. The carrots were a little underdone, but I cut them too thickly. Next time they will be thinner. I would also maybe add the apples after the first 20 or so minutes, as they were very well cooked when finished. I left the skin on and it proved to be no problem whatsoever, but gingergolds are thin-skinned apples. I might make slightly less vinaigrette next time, as there was a lot left over, but the boiling liquid was what I think mainly helped cook the veggies. All in all, a successful experiment!

Tomorrow? The chicken will get sliced into strips, more cabbage will be shredded, green beans and scallions will be sauteed and added, and the extra “sweet & sour” veggies will go into the skillet with a little soy sauce to be all stirred up until hot and served over soba noodles tossed in a little sesame oil. *Nom!*

It’s so nice to cook with lovely ingredients. And fall flavors are what I know best – mixing sweet and sour and savory and spiced. Yum, yum!

I had a job interview at a museum today. Fingers crossed I get it, despite the fact that it will be a real challenge for me.

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