Tidings Cooking Challenge – Chicken Breasts in Cream and Cranberry Sauce
Welcome to Tidings’ Cooking Challenge! Every month we’ll offer a recipe for you to try. You can follow the recipe exactly or vary it however you would like. Then, post a comment below — a short descriptive paragraph (up to 150 words).
This month’s challenge was provided by Lenka, a friend of mine who is an expert in Czech cuisine which, she says, is characterized by cream sauces, a little bit of spice and a whole lot of flavour. This recipe is very elegant, but can be put together in about 45 minutes on a weeknight.
I’m not a huge proponent of cream sauces, so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this dish. Since the recipe wouldn’t have been the same without it, I lightened it by using partly skimmed milk instead of the table cream listed in the ingredients. The light sauce and the slight bite from the horseradish gives the chicken tons of flavour. This recipe is a great company dish, but it also has an air of comfort food about it, too. Given that this is April, fresh cranberries were nowhere to be found, so I opted for frozen. As it turned out, they released a lot less water than I had anticipated and resulted in a very nice sauce. Try this dish with an unoaked Chardonnay.
Chicken Breasts in Cream and Cranberry Sauce
4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 cup chicken stock
3 apples, peeled and cut into thick slices
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup table cream (18%)
2 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 cups cranberries
3 tbsp sugar
Pour the chicken stock into a casserole dish. Place chicken breasts side by side in the dish. Lay apple slices over top the chicken breasts. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until chicken reaches a temperature of 180°F.
When the chicken breasts are done, remove them and the apples to a plate and keep warm. Remove and reserve the liquid from the casserole dish. Place the chicken breasts back into the casserole dish and cover with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Once melted, add flour. Stir until the mixture becomes thick. Add the cream and the chicken stock, and stir until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the horseradish. Season to taste. Set aside.
Place cranberries and sugar in a separate saucepan. Heat until cranberries begin to pop and the sauce has reached the desired consistency.
Place chicken breasts together on a platter or on a plate. Spoon the cream over them. Place cranberry sauce in a separate serving bowl, and serve alongside chicken breasts. Serve with a side of roasted or mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.