Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chicken with apples and sage (and my mail-order shoes)

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.


  1. hungry dog, I'm sorry to hear about the amazon shoe tragedy... I recently ordered 4-5 pairs (because I have hobbit feet, which are very hard to fit) and was very glad that one pair actually fit. The price you have to pay for the convenience of armchair shopping... And that chicken dish sounds so delicious! I have some sage in the garden, which is somehow fluorishing in the garden despite my neglectful traveling. That combination sounds divine indeed!

  2. Knock on wood, but I've been really lucky with mail orders. Some size errors (on my part) but that's to be expected.
    Very Thanksgivingy- the sage, the sweet potatoes and the chicken (in place of turkey). You ARE getting in the holiday mood! I like the photo!

  3. I can never order shoes from the mail because my feet are hard to fit, and depending on the manufacturer I can wear anywhere from a 7 to a 9 (US size--38 to 41 in Belgium). Sigh.

    Oh, wait! no recipe! Apples, shallots, sage, brown sugar, vinegar... I'm all ready for the recipe. This sounds wonderful, though. I love sage, especially at this time of the year.

    Re: the photos. Have you tried white balancing them? I think that might brighten them up a little bit. Your composition is good, and the color looks fine. If there's enough light to take the photo, it should be fine. I usually have to white balance mine a little bit.

  4. Sucks about the shoes. My girlfriend orders shoes online a lot and has had similar problems a couple times.

    But the chicken looks awesome! I love apples and sage, I need to try it.

  5. Next time you order shoes online, do it at Piperlime.com! They have a huge selection, and the best thing is that returns are free! They automatically send you a UPS label for the return just in case you need it, and recommend that you use the same box that they shipped it to you in, so all you have to do is literally drop it off at a UPS place. It's fabulously easy. :)

  6. Aw, sorry to hear about the shoes, must say I've never actually dared to buy anything that required sizing online (with the exception of t-shirts), so I admire your bravery!

    Sage and green apples and chicken sound absolutely fabulous though - pity you can't mail that over ;P

  7. Sorry about the shoes.

    By the way, I love the combo of flavors in your recipe! Miam :)

  8. Sent some blog love your way. Please stop by my blog to see what I mean. : )
    ~ Michelle

  9. Thanks for all the shoe sympathy, everyone!

    Kate: there is a link to the recipe right above the photo. And thanks for the white balancing tip--I don't know what that means but I'm going to find out! :)

    Erin: thanks for the tip on Piperlime--I've heard of it but never really checked it out. Now I shall. Mmm...free shipping.

    Michelle: thank you so much! I really like your blog too and have been stopping by regularly.

  10. You gave me this recipe and it is good! I could go for some tonight...

    Bummer about the shoes.

  11. Mail-order shoes are always hit and miss. But sage with apples is always, ALWAYS a winner no matter what else you pair with them. Yum!

  12. Cee: I'm glad you've liked it!

    Food Gal: I agree, sage and apples are always a "bestseller."

  13. thanks for this idea. I recently made my favorite pumpkin stew with a new pumpkin type and it sucked. I've been craving something warm and chickeny and we have 4 foot long leaves on the sage bush. I'm also trying to get up the nerve to modify a zuchini bread recipe to be a pumpkin bread recipe... what I was planning might go very will with this <3 A