Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Recipe, Sort Of: Honey-Apple Chicken and Potatoes

I love cookbooks. I have to restrain myself in the checkout line at the grocery store, because I always want to buy all those random little recipe books they have next to the register. I am under a self-imposed ban from the cookbook section of all bookstores. I cannot stop myself from picking them up and after flipping for a few seconds, I go from idly curious to *needing* another new cookbook.

This wouldn't be so bad if I actually used the cookbooks. Unfortunately, I typically lose interest after one or two recipes and then the book is just lying around taking up space in our already too-cluttered apartment.

Most of the new recipes I try these days are ones I find online. Blogging has to be the best thing to ever happen to recipe-aholics like myself. I still lose tons of time looking through recipes for foods I'll likely never make, but at least it doesn't cost me anything but time.

The reason for this recipe addiction is simple. I love cooking and trying new things, but if left to my own devices, I can never come up with anything to make. I know people who can take a look at five random leftover things in the pantry and see a way to throw them together into the most amazing meal ever. I am not one of those people. I look at five random leftover things in the pantry and see... five random leftover things in the pantry.

So I'm always super proud of myself on the rare occasion when I make up my own recipe. This year, I improvised my entire Rosh Hashanah menu. (Admittedly, my entire Rosh Hashanah menu consisted of one dinner for just Lee and I, but it sounds more impressive the other way.)

Before you get too astounded by my culinary genius and creativity, you should know that I pretty much took a few basic things I make all the time and coated everything with apples and honey in honor of the holiday. (Apples and honey are traditional on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year.)

Get ready for my Super Easy Chicken Dinner recipe. (There are actually *three* recipes in the paragraph below. It's that versatile.)

I found out a while ago that you can put chicken breasts and sliced up vegetables in a glass dish, dump various spices on them, cover the dish with foil, and bake it at 350 for 40 minutes and come up with a very easy and tasty dinner. I'm not sure where I got this idea originally, but pretty much all of my chicken recipes are now variants of this. I've turned this dish into Pizza Chicken (Spices: basil, oregano, minced garlic, crushed red pepper. Add pizza sauce and shredded cheese for the last 5 minutes of baking), Herb-Roasted Chicken (Spices: anything that catches my eye on the spice rack, usually basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and I really wish sage, but alas, my spice rack doesn't actually have sage in it), and now Honey-Apple Chicken (Spices: none, douse with liberal amounts of honey and apple jelly instead).

For the vegetables, I usually just toss in some wedged potatoes and a bag of frozen vegetable mix. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you want. I'm pretty sure you could also use fruit if you felt like it, though I've never tried that. This time, I just did the potatoes because I didn't happen to have any other vegetables lying around. Actually, I meant to do carrots too, but I never got around to slicing them up.

This Honey-Apple Chicken and Potato dish came out pretty well. I would share a picture, but I forgot to take one. Besides, it was all quite yellow and bland looking, being that I didn't add any other vegetables in there. The potatoes actually turned out delicious. I didn't expect to like them, because of all the sweetness from the apple jelly and honey, but they tasted wonderful.

I also made honey and raisin challah for the occasion, the recipe for which I'll put in a separate post later this week. I'm actually kinda proud of that one. People are always complimenting me on my challah, so I feel it deserves it's own post with actual attention paid to the recipe and stuff. And it came out really pretty, so there are pictures and everything.


  1. Glad I'm not the only one with a cookbook fetish (I have a dozen or so, but only use two. Another I hope to get the confidence to try). I've always wished I could find a class or book on developing recipes yourself. I can modify a recipe but cooking from nothing is not something I'm capable of doing without disastrous results.

    I will probably try at least one of those this week. I got both honey and apples in my CSA order today.

  2. CSA = community supported agriculture. Most are either buying clubs that order produce or other foods from local farms (cutting out the middle man meaning customer pays less but farmer gets paid more) or farms that sell a share of their harvests. The CSA I use is the buying club type.

  3. Interesting. Now that we're going through so much more produce than we used to, I might have to check and see if we have anything like that here in Columbia.

  4. http://www.localharvest.org/csa/