Monday, January 9, 2012

Don't try and trick me with your bubbles,'re still not champagne.

Even though I allow myself to have some alcohol these days, I really don't want it. I'd say realistically, I've had maybe one glass of wine every week or two on average. Even during the holidays. Though I did discover that sparkling cider is far tastier with a splash of champagne on top.

That said, I have had a lot of excess sparkling cider around, and this was a great way to use some of it up. The chicken was good, but the rice was amazing.

Plus it gave me an excuse to use some of the many, many, many pecans we have gathering in the backyard right now. Too bad shelling the little suckers takes so long...otherwise we'd have some mad pie going on right now.

Cider Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter Pecan Risotto
1 tsp light butter
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup cider
2 cups chicken broth (plus additional)
2 tbsp light butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp light butter
4 chicken breast fillets, pounded thin
Salt and pepper
Chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider (sparkling or regular)
1 tsp dijon mustard

For the chicken:
Sprinkle breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium high. Brown chicken about 3 minutes, flip, brown another 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and cook until done, 2 or more minutes depending on thickness, adding a splash of chicken broth if chicken starts to stick.

Remove chicken. Add cider and mustard, combining well, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Add chicken back to pan and cover until ready to serve. Pour cider sauce over chicken to serve.

For risotto:
Melt 1 tsp butter in large saute pan, and add rice. Saute over medium about 2 minutes. Add a half cup of cider, and let cook down, stirring often. When liquid is absorbed, repeat with remaining 2 cups of broth, half cup at a time. When broth is gone, taste the rice—if it's still a bit hard, repeat with another half cup of broth.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small pan. Let cook down until it just begins to brown, a minute or two. Add pecans, and toss well. Let cook another minute or two, then stir pecan mixture into rice.

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