Thursday, January 23, 2014


I first made this in 2012 but forgot to take a photo. I put it in my “to make again” file and waited until the seasons rolled back around to autumnal weather, when apples and cider and dishes composed entirely of different shades of brown seemed like a good idea again. That time I did snap a picture, but now a few months have passed and the details have faded somewhat from my mind—yet I don’t want to wait yet another year to share this, because it’s one of those simple crowd-pleasers that are good to have in your back pocket (metaphorically, that is; please don’t keep actual food in your back pocket). It’s pretty much what it sounds like: sautéed chicken and apples in a sweet sauce with a mustardy kick. You could eat it on its own, but it’s nice to have a starch to soak up some of that sauce; my Germanic heart went with egg noodles, although rice would also be nice if you are so inclined.

The original post at Simply Recipes notes that the sauce is mild and you can double the cider, honey, and mustard, leaving out the chicken broth, for a more intense flavor. I can’t quite remember, but I dimly recall that I tried that and found it a little too sweet and syrupy for my taste; the broth adds an important savory note. I do like having plenty of sauce to cover my noodles, so I’m thinking one-and-a-half times the cider/honey/mustard measurements plus all the chicken broth is the way to go, and those are the quantities I’ve noted below. A and I both thought onions might also add a good counterpoint flavor, so I might try throwing some in when I add the apples next time. I’ll try to iron out the details when I make this again in fall 2014.

¾ cup apple cider
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ cup flour
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium unpeeled apples, cored and cut into ¼-inch thick slices (use good cooking apples, such as Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Jonagold, Pippin, or McIntosh)
½ cup chicken broth
Chopped fresh parsley to taste

1. Whisk cider, cornstarch, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Salt the chicken well and dust it in flour. Shake off the excess.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until golden-brown on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Turn chicken, add apples, and cook until the chicken has browned on the other side.

4. Add chicken broth and cider mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.

5. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and apples to serving plates. (I like to slice the chicken breasts after they rest for a few minutes.) If sauce looks too thin, increase the heat and reduce it slightly. Spoon sauce over chicken and apples and sprinkle with parsley. (If serving with egg noodles, I toss them into the pan with the sauce until they’re well coated and then serve the chicken, apples, and parsley on top.)

Serves: 4
Time: 40 minutes
Leftover potential: Good.

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