Who doesn't love fall? Even if you live in California, where we don't get the brilliant turning leaves of New England, the weather gets decidedly brisker and the light adopts that shadowy, golden slant. Unless you're made of stone, autumn is a beautiful, romantic time of the year.
It's also the time of year for chicken with apples and sage.
I'm sorry this picture is a little cruddy. It really doesn't illustrate the gorgeous golden-brown of the chicken and the tiny flecks of sage which make the dish so pretty. I've been meaning to order one of those staging lights to help with my photography, but recently I ordered some shoes from Amazon which fit so poorly that I only got one on before realizing I would be severely hobbled by keeping them. It was a great disappointment because they were black suede mary jane heels with a little flower on the strap. I had already begun to envision how these new ladylike shoes would start to make up for the fact that I mostly kick around the house in jeans, clogs, and a faded Billabong hoodie. Unfortunately, when you're used to wearing clogs, you're even less likely to put up with pinchy high heels.
Anyway, while it's not Amazon's fault the shoes were a bust, I'm temporarily soured on the whole mail order thing. I realize it's convenient, but that's only true if you decide to keep whatever you ordered. If you don't, it's worse than returning it to a store, because you have to find packing tape and pay for the return costs. Now I have to lug the shoes to UPS and eat the shipping charges. $7 for a pair of shoes I didn't keep! So, it's hard for me to get excited about ordering anything else right now. The light will have to wait, and in the meantime, you'll have to endure a few dimly-lit shots. As great as autumn is, the shorter days that accompany it are no friend to the photographer. Oh well. I can only assume that with the millions of great blogs out there, no one's reading this one just for the pictures.
Let me spare you any further rantings and focus on this recipe, which I have made tons of times and expect to make for years to come. It's delicious, simple, and totally satisfying on a cool October night. The blend of apples, shallots, sage, brown sugar, and cider vinegar is divine and versatile--you can serve this chicken with rice, buttered egg noodles, or mashed potatoes. You could even do pork chops instead of chicken.
This time, I served it with thickly-cut roasted sweet potato coins and steamed green beans. If that isn't a pre-cursor to Thanksgiving, I don't know what is.