04/30/2012 01:25 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Honey glazes chicken, apples, onions in flavourful and easy dishes

Hard-working bees and bee keepers across the country produce some wonderful honey that is delicious on its own or in entrees, side dishes and desserts. Here is a sampling.

Honey-Glazed Chicken Chopsticks

Honey and chicken is always a tasty combination, and when you add the element of cooking it on a barbecue or a grill, it's that much better.

60 ml (4 tbsp) canola oil, divided

1 small red onion, coarsely chopped

1 l (4 cups) apple juice

4 sprigs fresh thyme

50 ml (1/4 cup) light honey

15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce

4 chicken breasts, cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) chunks

Salt, to taste

Heat grill to medium-high. Soak 8 wooden chopsticks in water.

In a medium saucepan, heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the oil over high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add apple juice and thyme, bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 125 ml (1/2 cup).

Strain mixture into a bowl and whisk in honey and soy sauce and let cool to room temperature. (This apple honey syrup be made 2 days in advance and brought to room temperature before using.)

Brush chicken cubes on all sides with remaining canola oil and season with salt. Cut a slit into chicken pieces and insert chopsticks. Skewer all chicken onto 8 chopsticks. Grill until edges begin to brown and chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Begin brushing with glaze halfway through grilling. Remove to a platter, drizzle with remaining apple honey syrup and season.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: "The Ontario Table" by Lynn Ogryzlo (Epulum Books, 2011).


Apple Flan With Honey Au Jus

Honey and apple peel combines to make an attractive garnish that takes this apple tart to a whole new level.

300 ml (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour

125 ml (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-cm (1/2-inch) cubes

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

30 to 60 ml (2 to 4 tbsp) ice water

6 Northern Spy apples

50 ml (1/4 cup) honey

250 ml (1 cup) water

45 ml (3 tbsp) honey

30 ml (2 tbsp) cold butter, sliced

In a food processor, pulse together flour, butter and salt until most of the mixture resembles coarse meal or peas. Add 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times or just until incorporated. Add more water if necessary.

Turn dough onto a floured work surface and form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash apples well and pat dry; core and peel, reserving apple peelings. Halve apples and slice 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick.

To make apple au jus, place apple peelings in a medium pot and add 50 ml (1/4 cup) honey and water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes. Strain and set aside. It will be a lovely pink colour.

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 33-cm (13-inch) round and fit it into a 25-cm (10-inch) flan pan with a removable bottom and fluted rim, trimming the excess.

Brush bottom of shell with apple liquid and arrange apples decoratively on pastry shell, overlapping slices. Drizzle 45 ml (3 tbsp) honey on top of the apples, top with butter slices and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until crust is cooked through and apples are golden.

To serve, puddle apple au jus on a serving dish and lay a slice of warm apple tart over top.

Makes 1 tart.

Source: "The Ontario Table" by Lynn Ogryzlo (Epulum Books, 2011).


Baked Onion Rounds

This vegetable dish, baked with honey, mustard and a sage topping, is wonderful with any entrée, but especially delectable with chicken.

30 ml (2 tbsp) Dijon mustard

15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil

15 ml (1 tbsp) liquid honey

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) dried sage leaves, crumbled

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

4 medium cooking onions

Heat oven to 220 C (425 F).

In a small bowl, combine mustard, oil, honey, sage and salt. Slice onions crosswise into 1-cm (1/2-inch) thick slices. Place in a single layer in a greased 4-l (13-by-9-inch) baking dish. Brush generously with honey-mustard mixture.

Cover with foil and bake in a 220 C (425 F) oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until tender.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Foodland Ontario.