Mushroom Apple Thyme Sauce with Panko Crusted Chicken over Parsnip Mash

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Mother Nature spoilt us yesterday.  While we are getting snow today we had a lovely break from winter with incredible warm weather of 70F/20C.  It was wonderful to be out and about walking downtown.  The only downside are the guys that suddenly walk round with their shirts whipped off.  Let’s just say, ahem, not always a good thing.  But I loved not having to wear a coat and the dogs had a great time sniffing about on their walk.

I was in the mood for some autumn flavours this past weekend and as it is still tax season it needed to be easy.  I thought it would be fun to do a sauce with apple and mushroom over chicken with a parsnip mash.

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Start by prepping the parsnips.  Peel and cube.  Put it into a saucepan and cover with chicken stock.  Bring to a boil then simmer until cooked through.

Coat chicken breasts with egg and panko bread crumbs.  I usually don’t have an issue with the panko falling off but if you do, dredge the chicken in flour first, then the egg and panko.  Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil and brown both sides of the chicken.

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Finish off in the oven at 350F/175C.  Meanwhile slice 4-5 mushrooms, finely chop 4-6 cloves of garlic, and chop about 3/4 of an apple.  It helps to have dogs to eat the rest of the apple!  They are so spoilt.  Add more olive oil to the skillet and begin to sauté the mushrooms, garlic and apple.

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Add a healthy handful of fresh thyme.  Cook until the mushrooms start to brown.  Add a tablespoon of butter, a 1/3 of a cup of dry sherry and a cup of chicken stock.

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Simmer the sauce until the chicken is cooked.  Once the parsnips are cooked, drain most of the stock but leave about 1/2 a cup in the pot.  Add 2 tablespoons of butter and about 3/4 cup of jarlsberg cheese.  Mash it all together.

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Place the chicken on the mash and top with the mushroom apple sauce.  A very easy but tasty meal after a long day of house projects.

Mushroom Cups and Being a Drowned Rat…

It’s official.  I am protesting Mother Nature.  And my poor timing.  I seem to have the uncanny ability to pick the wrong times to walk the dogs.  And I do try to get it right.  This week, however, I am failing miserably.  Tuesday night I had limited time to walk the dogs and it was pouring rain.  I checked the radar and it looked like it would rain quite hard for over an hour so off I went with the two dogs.  In a couple of minutes we were all soaked through.  And wouldn’t you know it, the sun poked through the clouds and the rain backed off at the end of the walk.

Last night, again torrential rain, honestly it is like a giant is standing up there with buckets of water.  Flooding in the area is quick and messy.  So the rain backed off and I thought here was my chance.  Grabbed the dogs and raced out.  I was about 3 doors down (no pun intended) and the skies opened up. I would have been dryer if I had taken a shower.  I had to wring my clothes out before I went in.  I am now familiar with how a drowned rat feels!

So while I was warming up after the walk I needed to sort out dinner.  I decided to make mushroom cups which are very fast and easy to make.

To start chop up a few mushrooms and some garlic.

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Saute them in olive oil and then add a splash of sherry.

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Remove from the heat once they’ve browned a bit.  Let cool then mix in grated cheese.  I used Jarlsberg for this.

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Spoon into ready made phyllo cups and then place in a hot toaster oven to melt the cheese and warm through.

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I served these with salad made up of apple, brie, and prosciutto.  Yum!

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A very quick but delicious meal.  Especially when a light meal is preferred in this heat!