Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apples & Chicken

It's apple week. We're celebrating apples. How fun is that? And in a minute, I'll turn to apples, but first I have to share that I was at Bouchercon Conference this past weekend where I was lucky enough to connect with librarians, booksellers, and lots of author pals and fans.

Some were bloggers and guest bloggers from Mystery Lovers Kitchen, like Lucy Burdette, Sheila Connolly, Mary Jane Maffini, Hannah Dennison, Rochelle Staab, and Julie Hyzy!

Authors: Tammy Kaehler & Lucy Burdette

Me, Julie Hyzy & Sheila Connolly

Rochelle Staab & Julie Hyzy
Myself, Mary Jane Maffini, Hannah Dennison & Gigi Pandian

By the way, Julie won the Anthony for best mass market paperback novel.  Woo-hoo to Julie.

Others were simply fabulous friends who happen to be fabulous authors.

Cleveland was an interesting city. It was blowy the first day, wet the next, but I still made it out to take pictures, which I've shared on my Facebook pages.  And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was fabulous! We went there our opening night.

You can't "read" them all, but what an array of signatures on this "art" guitar!  Wow.

Now, I'm back and getting ready to crack down on my writing.

But first, back to APPLES!

Do you love them? I do - in all sorts of colors. Red, yellow, green, red-yellow, this list goes on.

I decided to make something really simple. Here's why. In A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series (which comes out next July...9 months and counting), I'm writing a new character, Jenna Hart, who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, but she is not a cook. She's never had the confidence, never taken the time. When she moves home to Crystal Cove to help her aunt start up the Cookbook Nook and café, she needs to find herself and expand her likes and abilities. Cooking is one of those things. But simple is the best way to start for a new cook, don't you think? Here's what her aunt and chef-friend tell her: five items or less. Possible? Sure.

With apples and chicken, it was easy. This recipe turned out like baked apples. Warm, lovely. Not a lot of color after the apples were cooked, but homey and yummy.

I went to my local greengrocer, Tapia Brothers.  They have fabulous produce and boxes upon boxes of freshly picked apples. Yum.

Now, the interesting thing about apples is they're pretty going into the oven, but once baked, the color sort of drains out. Luckily not the flavor, and by simply adding a bright green vegetable, the plating becomes beautiful and inviting. Enjoy.


1 roasting chicken, cut up
1 large onion, sliced
3 apples (I used Gala), quartered, seeds removed (no need to take the skin off)
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons Bouquet Garni [Penzey's Spices is a combo of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, marjoram, sage and tarragon] If you don't have you can make a combination of any of the above.]

Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

So pretty going into the oven
Line a 9 x 13 pan with enough foil that you can pull it over the chicken. Place the chicken on the foil. Season with spices. Add the onions and apples, already sliced or quartered.

Fold the foil over the chicken and seal with a crimp so no steam will escape.

Bake for at least one hour. I did not do the following, but if preferred, open the foil, remove the onions and apples, and turn the oven to broil. Broil the chicken for 5-10 minutes until chicken turns golden.

Plate chicken, onions, apples and add a vibrant green vegetable.

You're done.

[If you prefer your apples a little sweeter, before baking, sprinkle the dish with 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar. But these apples were so sweet, the dish didn't need it.]

After baking, the color from the apples disappears. They become "baked." But oh, so sweet!


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The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 

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Say cheese!



  1. Another great on to try this winter--thanks Avery and Daryl!

  2. Lucy, glad you like. It's even good in the fall! LOL

    Daryl aka Avery

  3. Lucy's right--this is a wonderful fall/winter recipe. I'm lovin' the apples with the chicken and all those spices!

    Thanks for sharing those fun photos of Bouchercon-Cleveland, too. What a great time you all must have had, especially the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. How were the Cleveland restaurants? Any memorable noshes?

    ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Cleo. We had a fun time at Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, though I have to admit, acoustics for a big event? Not good across the escalator and basement. Amazing, isn't it, that acoustics would be bad there? LOL. Cleveland restaurants...who had time to go out? Everything is at the hotel, day and night. My author pal, Hannah Dennison, went to a polka restaurant with her agent and his clients, but no such luck for me. I love the polka!!

      Daryl aka Avery