As I mentioned in my last post about summer vacation, it appears that summer in southern Sweden was here for one day last week, and now it’s over. But in the hope that some of you out there still have warm weather, perhaps you can still make use of this simple, summery recipe that pairs brined chicken breast with a zingy apple and horseradish sauce. Served with boiled potatoes, it’s a really lovely summer meal and easy to make ahead of time.
This recipe came to me via my Swedish mother-in-law who got it from her sister-in-law (also Swedish). I must have tried this for the first time about a decade ago, and I still love it. I have a hard time containing myself from eating the chicken up as I’m slicing it. The original sauce recipe calls for fresh horseradish and dill, but once I served the chicken alongside a berry salad so I omitted the horseradish and dill and just upped the quantities of basil and parsley. It was delicious too. The sauce could be morphed in innumerable ways…maybe even by swapping the herbs with cilantro and adding a little curry. In any case, there isn’t much else to say about this recipe other than “yum.”
Happy Labor Day weekend to those of you in the U.S.!
Brined Chicken with Sour Cream, Apple, and Horseradish Sauce
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (70g) salt
4-6 chicken breasts
4-6 cups (1 – 1 1/2 liters) water
4-5 white peppercorns
1/4 yellow onion
large bunch parsley
1 cup (230g) sour cream
1/2 cup (120g) mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
For the brine: Add the sugar and salt to the water and stir until dissolved. Add the raw chicken breasts and refrigerate the chicken in the brine for 20-24 hours.
For the chicken: Remove the chicken from the brine. Discard the brine. Bring the water, peppercorns, yellow onion and parsley to a boil in a large saucepan. Let boil 5 minutes. Carefully add the chicken breasts, bring to a simmer and let cook 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the chicken cool in the broth. Once cooled it can either be served straight away, or kept in the refrigerator until needed.
For the sauce: Combine all of the ingredients aside from the apple in a small mixing bowl and blend well. Cut the apple into very small pieces (about the size of raisins) and mix into the sauce, incorporating well.
To serve: Slice the chicken on diagonal. Serve with the sauce and boiled potatoes alongside.