Prairie Home Chicken with Apple Cranberry Sauce {The Bride Wore Red }

prairie home chicken apple cranberry sauce

Eighteen years ago this weekend, there was a huge storm, the bartender got caught in the elevator, and my older sister sang torch songs around the piano by candlelight long after the power had gone out.

Months before that night, my {now} Husband and I called my parents in Nebraska to let them know that we’d finally settled on a wedding date.

When you call your parents at your childhood home, you recognize certain background sounds as if you’re right there in the room. Mom had picked up the phone in the kitchen and was relaying the news to Dad. When she shared the date we picked, I heard him slide that heavy oak captain’s chair back from the kitchen table, and begin a deliberate walk across the linoleum kitchen floor.

You might think he was rushing to grab the phone. Nope! I knew he was checking the calendar.

“Mom!” I said, “Tell him we’ve already checked. It’s an away game!”

We planned the wedding early enough in the evening so that anyone who wanted to head to the bar to watch the Cornhuskers play a night game against Arizona could do so without having to sneak off.

I smile every time I think about that call, and, of course, the wedding.

It was a relatively small gathering with our family and a few dear friends. Later in the evening, as some guests headed out, others ordered a nightcap and gathered around the piano. Then lightning hit, thunder clapped like a cannon, and the lights went off.

Undeterred {by the storm OR the missing bartender, who was now stuck in the elevator with our wine and after dinner drinks}, a few of us hung around until we ran out of songs and energy. The lights eventually came back on and we headed off to start our new life.

Dinner that night had been a simple fall menu that included a delicious chicken dish I’d sampled weeks before. I finally got around to asking for the recipe, and the then-chef was kind enough to write it down {even if the amounts and instructions were rather vague}.

If we aren’t traveling, or we don’t go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary, this is what I make.

I usually don’t have these crackers in the house – but they make such a difference in this recipe. The combo of salty and sweet flavors makes a delicious, delicate crust for the chicken. In fact, I’ll keep a batch of the crumb mixture in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner of crusted chicken or fish.

You can make the apple-cranberry sauce ahead of time – just gently reheat it before serving.

Prairie Home Chicken with Apple Cranberry Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup Triscuit crumbs
  • ⅔ cup Ritz crumbs
  • ⅔ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons hot water
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Mix cracker crumbs together. Place on plate or in shallow dish.
  3. Reconstitute cranberries in water and lemon juice until soft, about 15 minutes.
  4. Cook the apples, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon in a covered sauce pan on low heat until apples are tender, about 20 minutes. Mash the apples slightly with a slotted spoon. Add the cranberries and cook for about 10 more minutes. Keep warm.
  5. Mix egg with milk and stir together well. Place in shallow dish.
  6. Place flour on plate or shallow dish.
  7. Dip chicken breasts in flour, then egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs.
  8. Melt butter in large oven-proof sauté pan on medium high heat and brown chicken on both sides. Place chicken in oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  9. Serve with warm Apple-Cranberry sauce.
1996-09-21

I chose my dress {and Husband’s tie} in the spirit of “Go Big Red.”

anniversary

Our preferred dress code these days!

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11 Responses to Prairie Home Chicken with Apple Cranberry Sauce {The Bride Wore Red }

  1. Elaine Haydock September 20, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Happy Anniversary (am I confused? Isn’t it the 21st?)!! Wish we’d known you 18 years ago (we missed by just a couple of years, darn it!); the wedding must have been terrific! Thanks for sharing two of your wedding ‘moments’ – the pic and the recipe! Here’s to many more years of bliss and prairie chicken, you lovebirds!

  2. Sue September 20, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Great story. Great memory. Fun photos.

    Interesting recipe. I’ll give it a try.

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Morgan Wood September 20, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      You ARE correct… It’s the 21st. Changed “tonight” to “this weekend” to avoid further confusion. Miss you!

    • Morgan Wood September 20, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks Sue!

  3. Amanda Paa September 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    love this story! and happy anniversary. to many more happy years, and cornhusker wins.

    • Morgan Wood September 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Thanks Amanda!

  4. Bob N. September 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Happy Anniversary to both of you. We were there, but I have no memory of a storm or booze trapped in an elevator, all I remember was a wonderful event with many friends and two of our favorite people on the planet. All the best as always. Oh wait, I do remember having to stop having drinks on the patio because we began to be eaten alive by swarms of the Minnesota state bird.

    • Morgan Wood September 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      Bob, perhaps you were {briefly} a Cornhusker fan and left to watch the game!? We just looked at pics from that day, and it made us so happy that you and CL were there.

  5. Louise & Bob September 22, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY …we remember the happy day…the great dress and tie… the storm…the songs and more songs and our happiness in being there to see and hear you say “I DO”. Can’t wait to try this special recipe, know it will be tasty!
    Just keep sharing your love!!! XOXOX

    • Morgan Wood September 23, 2014 at 6:38 am #

      Louise!!

      We just looked through pictures of that day – and a few ski trips that followed :) Such a gift to us that you were part of it!

  6. Chris @ Shared Appetite September 30, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    What a great chicken dish! Love that apple cranberry sauce… sounds like a winning flavor combo! Pinning!

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