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
  • 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
  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.

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


Our preferred dress code these days!

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