I’ve been making a lot of seasonal dishes lately and this one totally tops the list. It is sweet and creamy and loaded with protein from the chicken. This recipe is great for fall and winter, when apples and apple cider are in abundance. I prefer using sweet apples, such as gala or Fugi and purchasing apple cider from the grocery store. A multi-three step recipe, it’s fairly easy to follow. I encourage you to read through the recipe prior to making the dish. Even though the recipe is multiple steps, you don’t have to dirty too many dishes.
2 cups of apple cider
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground red pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 large peeled apples, cored and cut into ¼ inch thick rings
1/4 cup unbleached flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
2-4 boneless chicken breasts
The recipe steps for each part:
For the sauce:
Place the apple cider in a medium saucepan placed medium to high heat. Bring the cider to a boil and cook it for 15 minutes or until it reduces to ½ cup. Carefully pour the hot apple cider in a separate cup and let it cool.
Use the same sauce pan you used to boil the apple cider (without rinsing it) and add the milk, cornstarch, mustard, black and red pepper. Cook and stir the sauce on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. If the sauce won’t thicken, add 1 tsp extra cornstarch. Next pour and stir in the cooled reduced apple cider you previously set aside to the sauce mixture. Cook and stir until it starts making bubbles. Remove the sauce from the stove and set it aside.
For the apples:
Preheat the oven to 200. Place a large skillet pan on medium heat to melt the butter. Once the butter is melted add the apples. Cook the apples for 3-5 minutes per side or until they are soft and golden brown on both sides. Next place the apples in a 9 inch by 13 inch glass Pyrex pan and place it into the preheated oven to stay warm. You’ll reuse this skillet to bake the floured chicken breasts, so don’t rinse or clean out the melted butter.
For the chicken:
On a dinner plate, combine the flour, black pepper and red pepper. You’ll use this to flour the chicken breasts. Before you flour the chicken breasts you need to pound it flat. Place plastic wrap on the counter, place the chicken on top of the plastic wrap and then place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the chicken so it’s completely covered. Then use a rolling pin to flatten and pound the chicken breast to ½” in thickness. Place the the flatten chicken in the flour and pepper mixture and coat it on both sides so it’s completely breaded.
Return the same skillet you used to brown the apples and place the floured chicken breasts in it. Cook the chicken breasts over medium heat for 5-10 minutes on both sides or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Sometimes I will place the lid on top of the skillet to better ensure the chicken breast is thoroughly cooked.
You now have two options, some apples or more apples. Once the chicken is finished cooking you can either place it on the dinner plate with apples on top only or first place 2-3 of the browned apple slices on a dinner plate and place the chicken breast over the apples and then place more browned apples on top of the chicken breasts. Once the chicken and apples are arranged make sure the sauce is still warm / hot. Reheat the sauce if necessary and then pour it over the chicken and apples and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Marian’s Autumn Chicken with Dijon Cider Sauce on page 220-221 in More Healthy Homestyle Cooking: Family Favorites You’ll Make Again and Again (1999) by Evelyn Tribole.