Monday, October 24, 2011

Oktoberfest Roast Chicken with Apples

I see by the number of hits on my page that many of you enjoyed my wine country post.  I'll be back with more wine inspired recipes within the next couple of weeks.  

I have to take you on a side journey to Bavaria for Oktoberfest... or at least to Mama Pirri's "active adult" community in Leesburg, Florida.  Those seniors do know how to party!

Authentic German Food
Royal Highlands Oktoberfest 2011
Leesburg, Florida

Saturday night was the famous Oktoberfest celebration.  Let me tell you, it was a hoot.  Dan and I went along with Mama Pirri and just look at all the food that was included. 

I am on a di- di-- weight adjustment program.  Many of you noted in my picture that I've lost quite a bit of weight since I made my last video for this blog.   I appreciate the compliments.   I still would like to take off a few more pounds before the holidays.  I have never done well on diet programs.  I just like to moderate my lifestyle, eat healthy and exercise and the weight normally comes off for me. 

So... I came up with this healthy Oktoberfest meal that you can make for your family and friends.  You still get the "flavor" of the fall season, without the extra calories;  I substituted whole grain noodles for the potatoes or the dumplings.

Brathähnchen mit Äpfeln

I did a Google search on Chicken with Apples and the nearest translation that I can find is -  Brathähnchen mit Äpfeln.  I am going to call this dish just that -- if any of my friends out there speak German, you can tell me if this is correct.  

I grew up in a Slovak, Polish and Rusyn ** family, but the only words I learned in those languages were choice words that I cannot repeat here (this is a family blog).  Actually, I do know a few food names so when I post those recipes I'll try to post them also with the authentic titles. 

**No, that is not a typo on Russian.  I 'll give you an Eastern European history lesson some time if you do not know.

You are going to love how this smells when it bakes.   You get apple sent, followed by the pop of the caraway seeds.  You will even love it better once you taste it. 

I don't serve the stuffing.  I use it as a aromatic to flavor the chicken.   I get the apple flavor from the gravy. 

Here we go with my version of Brathähnchen mit Äpfeln. 

1 - 3 1/2 pound all natural whole Chicken, cleaned and giblets removed
Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 small Granny Smith Apples, diced and divided
1/2 small yellow Onion, diced
2 tablespoons Grill Seasoning for Chicken
1 tablespoon All-Vegetable Shortening (I used Crisco)*
3 small Carrots, sliced
2 stalks Celery, chopped
1/2 pound Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and halved
1 tablespoon Caraway Seeds
1 cup Cold Water
2 tablespoon Sour Apple Schnapps
1  .87 ounce package Chicken Gravy Mix

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Salt and Pepper inside of chicken cavity.  Stuff with half of the apple and half of the onion. 

Place chicken in roasting pan.   Rub the chicken with the shortening and season with the grill seasoning.

*Try to find a shortening that is 50% less fat than butter for healthful results.

Add the carrots, celery and Brussels sprouts around chicken.  Mix cold water and schnapps together and pour over vegetables.  Salt and pepper to taste (optional).

Bake chicken uncovered for 1/2 hour until the skin starts to become golden. 

Baste vegetables with pan juices.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees.   Cover with tin foil or roasting pan lid (if you have one).  Continue to bake for 45 minutes until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F. and juices run clear. 

Prepare gravy by package directions but add in the remaining apple and onion.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and serve over chicken. 

Top chicken with gravy.  Serve vegetables over noodles along with pan juices.

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