Bacon Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Bacon, pumpkin, pasta, cheese - any questions?
It’s so funny how weird the holidays are. Early on there are tons of parties and it’s hard to make time for everything while also trying to squish things into your work schedule before everyone leaves. Then for about three weeks, everything is totally dead while we all spend time with our families. Until two days ago, my January social calendar was totally blank. But now it’s filling up again, and life is returning to normal (and I have a huge to-do list).
But it’s good to be back in our routine. I am sleeping better than I have in a long time and we have had a string of excellent homemade dinner hits. Monday we had a spinach salad with tuna. Today we had a droolworthy pasta with fresh homemade pesto and spicy sausage. Sunday, we had this Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken.
This scrumptious dish is another part of our delicious home date night this weekend (see also: Mango Dark and Stormy). It started with a recipe from Dave’s new Ted Allen cookbook, but then Dave improvised this awesome pan sauce with some local apple cider we picked up at the farmers market.
I’m so jealous of his talent for improvising. Seriously, I could not just pour some apple cider in a pan and have a delicious sauce a few minutes later.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it combines salty and sweet notes to harmonize into perfect umami. Salty and sweet a combination we see a lot these days (salted caramel anyone?) but I particularly love it in savory applications.
A quick note about this recipe: You may notice that it calls for only one piece of meat. We chose to share this chicken breast because a serving of meat is generally 4 oz. and chicken breasts are frequently double that. However, if you want to eat more than one serving of meat, go nuts! Just know that this recipe is one chicken breast that we used for two servings.
Here’s what you need:
1 chicken breast
Salt and pepper
Handful of fresh sage leaves
3 slices prosciutto
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup fresh apple cider
1/2 cup water
Capers – depends on how many you like
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Season the chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Top with several sage leaves, laid down flat on the chicken. Wrap in the chicken breast, sage and all in prosciutto.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Cook the chicken breast in the pan for five minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to an oven-safe dish and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
While the chicken is cooking in the oven, keep the skillet on medium heat and sprinkle the flour over the bottom of the skillet. Use a wooden spoon to move the flour around to soak up the chicken drippings. Use the cider to deglaze the flour and chicken, whisking to combine. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the sauce by about half, or to whatever your preferred thickness is.
When the chicken is done cooking, serve with the sauce and capers. Capers are deliciously salty and are a great contrast to this sweeter pan sauce. So in my opinion, use plenty
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