Normandy Chicken

Serves 4

A recipe from Foodland Ontario

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces Ontario cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small Ontario onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 boneless Ontario chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup each: chicken stock and apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy or Calvados (French apple brandy) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and set aside

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Remove and set aside.

2. Heat remaining oil in skillet; add chicken breasts and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Add vegetables, chicken stock, cider, Calvados, thyme, rosemary and salt. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Turn chicken pieces over several times during cooking and continue cooking 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

4. Transfer chicken to platter; tent with foil. Increase heat to high; reduce liquid to half, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; whisk in cornstarch mixture. Cook until thick and sauce is clear. Spoon over chicken breasts.

Risotto with Peppers

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons butter (1st amount)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup each, slivered red and yellow pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter (2nd amount)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley, dill or basil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 to ½ cup whipping cream (optional)

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chopped onion and garlic; sauté until onion begins to soften. Stir in red and yellow peppers; cook until peppers are crisp-tender. Transfer mixture to bowl. Set aside.

2. Add 2 more tablespoons butter to same pan. Add rice; stir to coat rice with butter. Cook 2 minutes. Add wine; cook and stir until wine is absorbed by rice.  Add 1 cup of stock; cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring often, until stock is absorbed. Continue to stir, adding stock one cup at a time, allowing each  cup of stock to be absorbed by rice before adding the next cup. Cook and stir until rice is tender and mixture is creamy. This takes 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Stir Parmesan, vegetable mixture, herbs and freshly ground pepper into rice. Add whipping cream or a bit more stock if needed to desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Quick Avocado and Grape Tomato Salad

  • 1 avocado, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Your favourite oil and vinegar salad dressing

Prepare as close to serving time as possible.

Gently toss all ingredients together and season to taste with freshly ground pepper.

Grand Marnier Mini Cheesecake

Serves 2 to 3

  • 1/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 small package (4 ounces/125 g) light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (2nd amount)
  • 1 egg
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons orange marmalade

1. Combine crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar and melted butter in small bowl; stir to mix. Press onto bottom of lightly greased 4-inch springform pan or 3 custard cups. Bake at 300°F for 5 minutes.

2. In medium bowl beat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, egg, orange zest and Grand Marnier or orange juice together until smooth. Pour over baked shell. Bake in preheated 300°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheesecake appears set to centre when dish is shaken slightly.

3. In small bowl stir together sour cream and marmalade. Spread evenly over cheesecake. Return to oven for 5 minutes more. Cool completely, then wrap  and refrigerate overnight. Serve garnished with thinly sliced orange.