Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pot-roasted Chicken with Apples: a perfect Fall combo

First we’d like to salute our terrific Mystery Lovers Kitchen Colleagues: Sheila Connolly and Daryl Wood Gerber who will both be releasing new books next week.  Sheila is giving us Picked to Die, one of her terrific apple mysteries while Daryl is Stirring the Plot, from the delicious Cookbook Nook series. We thought of them both because of the apples and the cookbooks when we were working on this recipe.  We know they’ll do well. Hats off to you, friends!

This is our favorite family Sunday meal for Fall. We are always dragged out of summer kicking and whimpering, but Fall is a wonderful time for food and flavor, including apples. This time, the day was so dark, wet and dreary that for our Sunday lunch, we had the candles lit. It is a meal that makes you appreciate those dark days. We love it because we get to use our Dutch oven. 

And the cooked apples are silky and delicious. It’s also easy to make. It would make great leftovers, but we’ve never any to confirm this. Again, let me say, it passes the mother-in-law test with flying colors. 
Plus we were ready for a relaxing weekend after the release and launch party for The Wolfe Widow, the third in our book collector mystery series. 


1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or dried)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 apples, peeled and diced (We like Galas or Fujis for this recipe. You can get by with as few as two apples, but we love it this way)

2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350 F. Pat chicken dry. Sprinkle chicken with thyme, salt and pepper.

 Heat butter over medium high heat in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot large enough to hold the chicken. Brown chicken on all sides, about 2 minutes a side, until golden.

Remove chicken from pot. Add apples and sauté for about 3 or 4 minutes or until lightly golden. 

Add cider vinegar, chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to boil. Return chicken to pot,

cover and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

 Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Cut chicken into 4 portions and transfer to a platter and serve with apples and sauce over. 

Pretty easy! It’s a rich and tasty main, so we add simple sides: a crisp green salad, fresh tomatoes, that kind of thing. But it does buddy up nicely with rice or potatoes.  You can see how it warmed up our room!

After this lunch and the lemon dessert (coming soon to a Mystery Lovers Kitchen near you) , MJ curled up with a good book: A Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh, research for our next Book Collector Mystery: The Marsh Madness, a work in progress.

Shall we meet in the reading corner on a dark and dreary day?

We hope you’ll be trying The Wolfe Widow, our September release.  Just be very careful if the doorbell rings.

Walter really wants you to. 


  1. The recipe looks fantastic, but I have a question about the book. Why is this one titled after the character, not the author as the previous ones have been? I was introduced to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe very early in my life -- he was, and remains, one of my mother & father's favorite characters and we listened to the audio books in the car on family trips. I just find it interesting that this one is a character not the author. Either way, I am looking forward to reading it.

    1. Hi Ellieanne. When we started this series we didn't have any kind of rules in mind for the titles (author or character) and we really wanted to do Rex Stout. I totally loved those books and really enjoyed the rereads. The title The Wolfe Widow kind of drove the book. We stopped looking for a title with Stout in it, when the Wolfe Widow 'came to us'. Maybe we were on a diet at the time?
      I hope you like it as this is a series you care about. Hugs!

      MJ and Victoria

  2. People don't always think of apples for savory dishes, but it's a nice combination. This recipe looks delicious! (And thanks for the mention.)

    I'm reading your book now--great suspense! Can't wait to see what's going on there.

    1. Thanks, Sheila - I have been waiting to use this recipe. It really is a family fave around here.

      I love apples and your apple books! Hugs!

  3. Chicken, apples, and roasting in the oven--perfect for a chilly day! Thank you for this recipe.

    Thanks for the Amazon link, but I prefer Barnes & Noble, and have all this series on my Nook. Looking forward to time to binge read them!

  4. Happy binge reading, Karen! I should really organize myself to do both sets of links. I think B & N has better prices for the e-books too.

    I am so glad you liked the recipe.



  5. Who could deny Walter? :)

    1. Exactly, Patricia! He thanks you for your support.



  6. What a perfect recipe for the changing seasons. And fits right in with trying to eat a bit simpler here now, too. And of course if Walter says . . . Pep could probably have a little of the chicken to supplement his dinner and everyone would be happy.

    I must have said this before but I so anticipated The Wolfe Widow that it was the book I just had to have the minute it came out. I was lucky to get it at B&N 2 days before. And not disappointed, loved it! (I have found that usually Amazon is up to $2.00 cheaper on e-books, especially if they have been out awhile. The Wolfe Widow paperback- better to see Walter ;-_).