The super-taste does come with a bit of a penalty if you're watching your waist-line, as I calculate the chicken and sauce comes to 10 PP on Weightwatchers, but frankly it's the sort of recipe you cook on an evening when you're not worrying about that.
Sauteed Chicken with Cider and Lovage
- 8 chicken thigh fillets (or 4 chicken breasts)
- 2 Cox's apples
- 500 ml cider - the recipe suggests Leckford Cox's Cider from Waitrose, but any good medium dry cider will be fine
- 250g mushrooms
- 40g butter
- Ground allspice (I use whole and crush it in a pestle and mortar)
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 25g fresh lovage. If lovage isn't available, fresh tarragon is great substitute (and actually, I used dried tarragon because I was being a lazy arse).
- Salt and pepper to taste
Whilst the cider is bubbling away, core and chop the apples into wedges and slice the mushrooms. Heat half the butter in a large flat-bottomed pan or frying pan, and gently fry the apples and mushrooms until golden. Put them aside and cover them to stay warm for later.
Dredge the chicken in the allspice and a little salt (I tend to just add them to a bowl and do it by hand, but putting them it all in a large plastic bag and shaking it up will work just as well). Heat the rest of the butter in the pan, and add the chicken fillets to seal and turn a light brown Leave the chicken whole - no need for chopping for this recipe. Fry in batches if needed, and you'll probably need a few extra minutes if using breast instead of fillets.
For the next stage you'll need to cover the pan, so transfer to a saucepan with a lid if needed. Add the reduced cider to the chicken, cover and turn to low-medium heat for 20 - 25 mins. Finally, add the reserved mushrooms and apples, the cream and the lovage to the pan, season to taste, stir and heat for a few minutes.
All that's left is to serve up and enjoy! This is quite a hearty, rustic, winter warmer in my opinion, so I served with oven-baked jacket potatoes. I salted the skins after washing them, so they were extra crispy but light and fluffy in the middle - about an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half on 150 degrees in the fan oven. I also served tenderstem broccoli, fresh white baguette and salted butter, because that's how I roll.
The recipe suggests cider to accompany, but a nice crisp Sauvignan Blanc works just as well.