Chicken with Rosehips

This combination of herbs and fruit gives a delicious, rustic flair to an ordinary meal.

6 skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon of walnut oil
Penzey’s Bouquet Garni
1 cup of pulpy fresh apple juice
1/2 cup rose hips *
Penzey’s Vietnamese Cinnamon

*Prepare rose hips fruit before beginning. Fresh rose hips appear in late August to early September in northeastern Wisconsin. Contrary to some published reports they are best used before turning mushy from frost. The rose hips are the seed capsule that forms on various species of wild rose. Some varieties are as large as an inch or more and easy to pick and clean. The flavor is similar to apple, and they have a pleasant crunch.

To clean them cut off the stem and blossom remains. Cut into quarters and scrape out the seeds. Wash the cleaned red fruit with several changes of cold water while rubbing them gently to remove the tiny stiff hairs. Rinse the fruit. Rinse your hands well too as any tiny hair can cause irritation. The rose hips can be refrigerated for up to a day. Otherwise don’t clean them until ready to use, store in a single layer and keep dry.

Prepare stainless skillet over medium heat with walnut oil. Sprinkle the chicken with Bouquet Garni to taste, lightly on each side. Place in skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking. Add the apple juice, and rose hips, and 1/4 teaspoon of the Cinnamon powder, stirring well. Continue cooking until chicken no longer has any pink. Do not overcook. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve. Makes 2 to 3 servings. Tastes better the next day or served later in the day as the flavors blend more. Good cold over pasta or whole grains.

Alternate recipe:

Cube the chicken before sautéing it.

In a small saucepan heat the apple juice, rose hips, cinnamon until not quite boiling. Add a thickening agent such as cornstarch (mix with coldwater first to a slurry) or xanthum gum. Reduce heat and stir until the consistency of gravy. This is a sauce.

After the chicken is cooked in the skillet, add the sauce and briefly coat all pieces for a minute or two. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or pasta or cubed root vegetables.

Using dried rose hips.

Add 2 tablespoons of chopped dried rose hip pieces to 1/2 cup of boiling hot water. Let stand for 15 minutes or until the rose hips have rehydrated and are soft. Then proceed as above by adding the rose hips and liquid to the apple juice and cinnamon in the skillet or to the saucepan if making sauce.

For best nutritional value rose hips should not be cooked. Dried rose hips should have a red or orange color to them. The older they get the darker the color. Or if they were dried using high heat or in the sunlight they will also be dark.