As a chef I love a good challenge, and when that challenge is to use a product that you love, in a way it’s never been used before, well for me it doesn’t get any better than that!
Last July I went to the Big Summer Potluck and not only did I get the chance to meet and socialize with so many amazing bloggers, but I also got the opportunity to speak with the sponsors that attended the event. They were all very kind and responsive, and genuinely interested in my blog and what I did. So when one of those reps contacted me about doing some work for them, I jumped at the chance!
You may have seen my apple butter pizza a few weeks ago, I thought that pizza rocked and that blending apple butter with tomato, was a stroke of genius!! I think I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back..lol. But instead of the accolades I was expecting I received a challenge instead, they knew I could do better.
Honestly at first I was a little annoyed, after all I was “Chef Dennis” , but after a few minutes I realized that they were right, and how can you be mad at someone who expects more from you and knows you can do better. Of course living up to the expectations can be a little never racking too. But not this time, instead I just slipped back into restaurant mode, and as the juices started to flow, I knew what I had to do.
Mama Jeanette taught me how to listen to food, she would tell me “sonny boy, a dish will tell you what it wants if you give it a chance, you just have to open up your mind and listen” . As usual she was right, and teaching me to listen was the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me.
So as I’ve done so many times before, I simply took deep breath closed my eyes, and imagined myself making the dish. And as I begin building the dish, and combining the flavors, it all came together……..
Now I can’t stop thinking about Apple Butter and all the possibilities! In fact, I think they better send me more product to work with (and some biscuits, please). The flavors in this dish flowed together seamlessly, with the saltiness of the chicken stock, complimenting the sweet flavors of the apple butter, carrots and caramelized leeks. Add that to the perfectly seared chicken thighs, the still crunchy apples and of course the tangy flavor and aroma of Jack Daniels and my friends you have heaven on a plate! What a perfect dinner for those cool fall nights……..I mean what’s better than comfort food on a cold autumn night.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 oz (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. (15 g) butter
- 1 firm sweet tart apple (I used Honey crisp) cored, skin on and sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced on a bias
- 1 large leek sliced
- 1 tsp. (5 g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) chicken stock
- 1 cup (240 g) apple butter
- 2 oz. (60 ml) Jack Daniels sour mash bourbon
- 1 tbsp. (15 g) butter
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil and butter into a large skillet and allow the pan to get hot
- dredge chicken things in flour seasoned with sea salt and pepper
- Add floured chicken thighs,leeks and carrots spinklle with brown sugar,
- Sear chicken and allow it to get good color while leeks and carrots caramelize (about 5 minutes)
- Add bourbon and allow alcohol to cook off
- Remove chicken and vegetables from pan.
- place chicken in a baking pan and put it in a preheated 325 degree oven while making the sauce.
- Add chicken stock, and apple butter, blend together and turn down the heat to low, allow sauce to reduce until it thickens up (about 5 minutes)
- Return the vegetables to the sauce, adding in the apples, and remaining butter.
- Season with black pepper and sea salt if necessary (salt will enhance the flavor of the apple butter)
- Divide between two plates and place the seared chicken thighs on top of the veggies and sauce.
- Serve with roasted potatoes and enjoy!
I hope this has got you thinking about apple butter and all of the great dishes you can use it for! And if you’re looking for some recipe ideas stop by Musselman’s.com, and check out all the delicious ways you can use Butter. While your there you can even print a coupon to use on your next purchase of Musselman’s Apple Butter, and saving money is always a good thing!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Musselman’s Apple Butter. All opinions are my own.