Weeknight Comfort: Cider-Glazed Chicken

November 14, 2014

When I woke up a few mornings ago, the outside thermometer read -1. In early November! That’s just seven kinds of wrong, folks. The projected high temperature for the day was a whopping 8 degrees and snow fell steadily throughout the morning.

On days like that, I crave warm, comforting food. When the weather is beastly, my belly feels especially empty and in need of tending to. Does this happen to anyone else? The temperature drops and your hunger spikes into the stratosphere? It’s kind of a bummer, and tends to be the reason that I pack on some poundage during the colder months. I call it my “winter insulation.”

Problem is, with all of the pizza I’d been eating during M.’s broken arm ordeal, I knew that something healthier was definitely in order. No gravy and mashed potatoes, no matter how grumbly my tummy was.

My other problem? No way was I making a trip to the grocery store in those icy and snowy conditions. I’d already had to bundle up like Nanuk of the North to take the girls to school and walk the dog; I wasn’t going back out there for something as mundane as a trip to the Kroger. Nasty weather also turns me into a lazy slob.

I scanned the pantry and I didn’t have enough chicken broth for soup, which a bit of a buzzkill, because it was definitely soup weather. I was also miserably low on potatoes and pasta, my other cold weather go-tos.

I pawed through the freezer and found–no surprise–chicken. I always have chicken around, even if it’s not the sexiest protein in the world. Chicken is kind of like a second-string quarterback; it doesn’t excite but it manages to get the job done.

I knew I had rice because duh, I cook Asian food at least twice a week. Rice is always close at hand. A second scan of the pantry found a pleasant surprise–several bottles of apple cider, an item I don’t usually have around, but then I remembered that I’d bought some in September, when I was in an Autumn frame of mind. And then I promptly forgot about it.

Sometimes a forgetful nature is not a bad thing, because I was able to cobble together a warming, hearty and surprisingly non-ass-busting meal out of those humble ingredients.  Another bit of good news? It’s an easy dish to pull together. By the time the rice finishes cooking, you’re well on your way to having dinner on the table–making this a great meal for a weeknight or a busy day or a frosty winter night.

Temps are supposed to climb into the 20’s today, so I’ll be busting out that bikini. Spring is here!  :)

Stay warm, readers!



Cider-Glazed Chicken

from Cooking Light magazine

serves 4

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 pound chicken breast cutlets (about 4 cutlets)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken cutlets to the pan; cook 3 minutes minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet. Add cider and mustard to the pan and scrape the browned bits off the bottom with a spoon. Cook 2-3 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Add chicken back to pan, turning to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle parsley over.

Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or buttered noodles to soak up the sauce.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Foodiewife November 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

I saw how cold it is in Colorado, and thought of you. Would it be cruel to mention that our cold snap, today, is that temps dropped to the 60’s? Apple cider is a staple in my kitchen. Cider glazed anything is one of my faves. It looks like you pulled together a great meal. Stay warm!


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me November 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm



Alison November 16, 2014 at 12:17 am

DUDE. This looks SO good, I want to eat it off my screen.


Sherri November 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

Got this in the food rotation this week. Snow and ice and rain and whatever slated for Pittsburgh this week too.


Tiffany December 14, 2014 at 7:14 am

Yum! I’m trying really hard not to get my winter insulation this year!


Emma January 3, 2015 at 4:48 am

Made this last night for the first time – delicious! Thanks!!


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