Fall Fest 2010 week 2 is all about apples. This dish uses fresh apples, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar to make a yummy sauce to go over chicken (it would also be lovely over pork). The apple flavor really shines in this sauce and the caramelized shallots are a nice compliment to the sweet and tangy apples. I like to find ways to use fruit in savory dishes rather than always in desserts. This recipe will make enough for two people.
Chicken with apple and shallot sauce
2 chicken breasts, pounded out to an even thickness
1/4 cup flour
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 firm large apple, peeled and diced
2-3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
leaves from 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
butter and/or olive oil for cooking
In a large pan, warm some butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. When melted, add the shallots. Stir occasionally for about 5-7 minutes, until the shallots start to turn golden. Add the apples. Continue to cook until they turn golden brown, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). Add salt and pepper. De-glaze the pan with the apple cider and stir all the brown bits off the bottom the the pan. Add the chicken stock, vinegar, mustard, and syrup. Stir until combined. Let the sauce come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens a bit. Taste and add more salt, pepper or any of the other sauce ingredients to get to your desired level of sweet and tangy. Add more chicken stock if there is not enough liquid.
In a non-stick pan, warm some more olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper your chicken and dredge it in some flour, shaking off the excess. When hot, add the chicken to the pan and cook until it is golden on both sides and cooked through (about 10 minutes or so depending on the thickness).
Transfer a piece of chicken to a plate. Stir the thyme in the sauce just before serving and then top your chicken with the sauce. I served our chicken along with a baked sweet potato and some steamed cranberry beans.