Gradually, one vegetable at a time, I’m pulling the vines out of my garden and consigning them to the compost heap. Vegetables, like people, mature at different rates and times so the cucumbers that were done back in August are way ahead of the sauce tomatoes I’ve been harvesting of late. This is the time of the year when I question the wisdom of even planting a garden!
First you have to nurture the seeds under grow-lights, then you transplant the seedlings and coax them along until it’s time to transfer them to the garden. From then on, its watering, weeding and thinning until the harvest. The whole process begins in late February or early March and culminates in September. That’s a good chunk of the year devoted to do-it-yourself, when all I really have to do is walk down the produce aisle and pick out fresh produce anytime I need it!
You’ll begin to see the results of the apple harvest in our produce department this week. Field totes of various varieties fresh from the orchard, apple by-products like cider, candied apples and assorted mixes and associated items that go great with America’s #1 fruit!
Here’s an easy recipe that incorporates two of our family’s favorites; apples and chicken. It takes about an hour to prepare and cook and yields about 6 servings. It’s called simply,
|12 skin-on chicken drumsticks||2 cups apple juice|
|½ cup apple cider vinegar||¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce|
|2 teaspoons honey||Grated zest of 1 lemon|
|1/8 to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes||2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)|
|1 tablespoon butter||Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper|
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the drumsticks on the rack and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes; flip the drumsticks and continue baking until golden and crisp, about 30 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: Bring the apple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt to a high simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside until the chicken is done.
- Stir the sesame seeds into the sauce, if using, and warm over medium heat, if necessary. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the sauce and butter and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with any remaining sauce from the bowl.