Friday, October 14, 2011

Skillet chicken dish will be the
apple of your plate's eye

Apples fairly scream autumn.
   This time of year, I’m always attracted to a nice-looking recipe that features the starring fruit of fall (with pears running a very, very close second.)
   Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples (click for the recipe) from Eating Well magazine is a lovely dish that puts apples to terrific work. It also contains apple cider or juice to up the apple element of the dish.
   The apple cider or juice creates a light sauce that nicely coats the chicken, soft apple pieces and cranberries.
   The recipe says dried cranberries can be substituted for fresh if a less tart flavor is desired. I certainly didn’t want to have my mouth turned inside out by unsweetened cranberries, and so opted for Craisins sweetened dried cranberries instead, using just 1/3 cup (the recipe calls for a full cup of fresh or frozen berries).
   The recipe calls for one pound of chicken tenders. Since we were unable to find this, my husband simply cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into pieces that were longer than they were wider.
   The suggestion to serve the dish with wild rice is a good one. We used a boxed wild/white rice blend with seasonings.
   The chicken is sprinkled with dried thyme, salt and pepper, then cooked in a skillet until browned. The chicken is removed and transferred to a plate.
   Thinly-sliced crisp red apples, sliced red onion, some of the apple cider or juice, dried thyme and salt are combined in the skillet and cooked until the apples are softened.
   Fresh, frozen or dried cranberries are added, and one tablespoon of flour is sprinkled over the contents of the pan. The chicken is returned to the pan, along with the rest of the apple cider or juice.
   The mixture is covered and cooked until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

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