I added cardamom and nutmeg to a Charlie Trotter purée to accentuate the apples and the season. After that, the honey-glazed chicken that makes regular appearances in my kitchen felt like a natural accompaniment. —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
freshly squeezed lemon juice
unsalted butter (divided)
tart crisp apple (halved, cored and thinly sliced)
large chicken breasts halves (bone-in and skin attached)
salt and pepper (as needed)
fresh rosemary sprigs
cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
thinly sliced lemon rounds (from the center of the lemon)
onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
large russet potato (peeled, small diced and boiled until just tender)
tart crisp apple (peeled, halved, cored and small diced)
Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice and soy sauce. Stir until well incorporated. Set aside.
Prep the raisins: Place the raisins in a small heatproof bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover by about ½-inch. Let them sit undisturbed 15-20 minutes, (or until plump) then drain and set aside at room temperature.
Prep the sautéed apples: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium sauté pan set over medium heat. Lay the apples in the pan in a single layer and cook turning once, until soft and nicely browned. Turn off the heat and set aside in the pan for reheating later.
Roast the chicken: Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425°. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel then place, skin side up onto a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Tuck half the rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves and lemon rounds under each breast. Brush with glaze and roast 15 minutes, turn the sheet and baste with more glaze. Continue to roast 15 to 20 minutes more, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, or until the juices run clear and the skin begins to char. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes.
Prepare the purée: Once the chicken is in the oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and cook, stirring often, for 10 to 12 minutes or until well-softened and just beginning to brown at the edges. Move ½ of the onions to a small bowl, stir in the reserved raisins and set aside. Add the boiled, diced potatoes, diced apples and stock to the onions that remain in the saucepan. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, or until the apples are very tender. Scrape the warm mixture into a food processor, add cardamom, nutmeg, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cream. Purée the mixture until smooth. It should be less stiff than mashed potatoes, adjust consistency with more cream if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the dish: Gently reheat the sautéed apple slices and the apple-potato purée. Once the chicken has rested, remove the meat from the bone in one piece. Slice each breast into ½-inch thick slices, leaving the skin attached. Place a small mound of the warm onion and raisin mixture onto the center of each of 4 dinner plates. Top each with 3 or 4 slices chicken and spoon a ring of purée around the chicken. Lightly spoon some of the remaining glaze over the chicken. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with warm sautéed apples and fresh thyme.