The Waterford Receptions Kitchen – Fall Recipes by Executive Chef Michael Rogers

Seems that the fall days are finally here to stay.  But as we say goodbye to the days of grilling out, we don’t have to go running for the crock-pot just yet.

Here are two simple and delicious recipes from Waterford’s corporate executive chef, Michael Rogers, that leverage the wonderful ingredients and festive flavors of fall.

Forest Chicken

This delicious chicken dish makes use of apples and mushrooms – which tend to be abundant in the fall.  Chef recommends apricot-scented chanterelles but morels, shiitakes, oyster mushrooms or portobellos can all be used.

Ingredients:

½ cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 chicken breasts, bone still in (about 8 ounces each)

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 teaspoons minced shallot

8 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced

½ cup veal or chicken stock

1/3 cup diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith or Gravenstein

¼ cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons dry sherry

2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 teaspoons minced tarragon

1 teaspoon minced thyme

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Season the flour with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Dust the chicken with the seasoned flour, patting to remove excess. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it in a shallow baking dish. Bake the chicken until it is no longer pink in the center of the thickest part, 15 to 20 minutes.

Prepare the sauce while the chicken is baking. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan the chicken was cooked in, and reheat the pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot and saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, apple, walnuts, sherry, white wine, tarragon and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the chicken breasts on individual plates, pour the sauce over them, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Three Squash Soup

While pumpkins may be the most popular within the gourd/squash family, there plenty of other types to enjoy as well.  Check out this savory soup that acorn and butternut squash as well as zucchini.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 acorn squash

1 large butternut squash cut in half and seeded (try roasting the seeds with a little kosher salt for a snack)

1 zucchini

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon white pepper

Salt to taste

Olive oil and butter for roasting

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut up your squash in slices and scoop out the seeds, but don’t peel them.

Drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan and place pats of butter underneath the squash slices on the pan, placing the squash flesh side down. This creates caramelization on the bottom of the squash. Cook it all for about 30-40 minutes or until it begins to look a little shriveled and feels soft to the touch.

Allow the squash to cool enough to handle it.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, zucchini until translucent – about 2 minutes.

Add ginger, garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant – 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in 4 cups stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Scoop out the insides of the squash and add it to the stock pot, along with the spices. Mix thoroughly and then puree it in batches in a blender or food processor. Serve hot.

Optional:  Swirl in some warm heavy cream to make the soup thicker and richer. 

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