Monday, February 9, 2009

"Beans In My Boots - Quick, Easy Recipes for Skiing Families" - Chicken with Russian Dressing and Apricot Jam

Date I made this recipe: February 8, 2009

Beans In My Boots – Quick, Easy Recipes for Skiing Families by Hoppie Stibolt
Published By: Smoke Tree Ranch
© 1983
Recipe: Chicken 6 (Chicken with Russian dressing and Apricot Jam) – p. 64

Well the temperature finally warmed up to the high 30’s this past week and so ski season is likely (and I hate to say, hopefully) on its way out but what the hey, we might as well live life on the edge and pretend there’s still some schussing to be done out there!

Okay, having said that let me confess that I am not a downhill skier but rather a very retired cross-country skier (blame lack of snow and lack of ambition). The Upper Peninsula of Michigan (where I'm from) is not exactly known for downhill skiing (with the exception of the western portion of the state) but it is known for great cross-country skiing. In fact, some of the better trails are located right on the edge of my parent’s property and my parents were the ones that got me and my brother into skiing in the first place.

Back in the 70’s, my parents were on the cutting edge of the cross-country ski movement. I can’t recall exactly how they got into it but they were very good skiers and even ended up being featured in National Geographic while skiing on a very frozen Lake Superior; the backdrop is a very large icicle collection hanging down from the caves bordering the Lake Superior shoreline. A large, framed black and white commemorative photo hangs in my parent’s living room.

Because my dad wasn’t sure if I would take to the sport, he refashioned a pair of my mom’s old wooden downhill skis for me to use. They were not the prettiest things in the world and the boots that I got to go with them are hilariously outdated but people, let me just say that there was no cross-country hill too big for me to ski down on those puppies. Whereas everyone else sort of turtled their way to the bottom of the hill, I shot down like a lightning bolt leaving me enough time for a cigarette and a cocktail if I so desired. I was the envy of my friends—swift on the straights and dynamic on the downhill.

But alas, all good things must come to an end and finally, the edges wore out leaving me virtually unable to herringbone climb up a hill. I joked that I gave slam dancing a new dimension and finally threw in the towel and rented some skis on subsequent trips. But even then, the snowfall in Minneapolis started dwindling off, other fellow ski friends got busy and I finally retired the skis many years ago. And when I retired my skis, I also retired the hilarious road trips we used to take to ski in Minnesota’s infamous Boundary Waters.

Unlike the luxury that downhill skiing affords, cross-country skiing is all about roughing it. My friends and I typically stayed at a “resort” containing cabins with all the accoutrements except running water (we had to haul jugs of water to the cabin) and a bathroom. Those who know me are amazed that I would spend even a minute in those primitive conditions but it was all made better by a) cocktails b) more cocktails and c) a very large bathhouse with heat, running water and hot showers that I affectionately dubbed “The Big House” that wasn’t too far away from our cabin (although let it be noted that when we first started taking these trips, we had to use an outhouse. This was more dangerous than you could possibly imagine and all I will say on the matter is freezer.burn.) Besides, I was much younger then and more than happy to run outside in minus 30 degree weather in order to luxuriate in the warmth of the bathhouse.

The best part of these trips, besides the skiing, was menu planning and let me tell you, we had some great, gourmet meals in our day. I usually brought a crockpot to be used for at least one meal but there were other times we put something together that was quick and delicious. The meal I made tonight (albeit intended for a downhill ski crowd) would have been perfect after a long day on the trail. It was one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made—mix the ingredients, pour over the chicken and bake – as well as one of the tastiest. Regardless of whether or not you ever strap on a pair of skis, I think you’ll like this recipe. Enjoy! (And while I’m at it-- oh please dear god of the north, let winter end soon. It’s February for crying out loud!)

Chicken 6 (Chicken with Russian dressing and apricot jam) – Serves 4
1 cut up chicken
1 8-ounce bottle Russian salad dressing
1 envelope dry onion soup
1 10-ounce jar of apricot-pineapple jam (I could find it so used apricot)
¼ teaspoon curry powder

Place chicken skin side up in greased casserole. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over all. Cover and bake 1-1/2 hours at 325 degrees. Baste occasionally.

Note: I served this with rice and I also used just chicken breasts since I’m partial to white meat.

1 comment:

Priya said...

Hey Ann,

Yummy recipes!

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