Fall is finally here and you know what that means?
That fall favorite is back…the round fruit that everyone loves to go crazy with in the fall…
No I’m NOT talking about pumpkins!
Pumpkin mania will soon be sweeping social media, and while I will probably fall prey to it’s delicious tempation, I want to NOT overlook another fall favorite of mine…
Apples and apple CIDER!
If you grew up in Michigan like me, apple cider time was exciting. Our family would drive out to one of our favorite apple orchards and buy cider, freshly squeezed and delicious, along with piping hot pumpkin donuts. MMmmmm!!! It makes me hungry just writing about it!
You may remember my post recently about revisiting that childhood love when I was visiting my folks.
I love to incorporate cider into my recipes in the fall in things like my Brown Sugar Cider Glazed Turkey Meatballs and my Turkey Roulades with Apple Cider Gravy or even in salad with my Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cider Vinaigrette. Or drink it semi-straight in Crockpot Mulled Cider. Anyway you serve it, it’s usually delicious!
I really love this dish and guess what? It’s pretty doggone healthy as well! The sweetness of the apples means no sugar of any kind is added, but you’d never know it.
Toss in a little kick of red pepper flakes and some fresh sage, along with two kinds of mustard (just to give it a little flare), and this recipe is a keeper!
Start off by sprinkling eight boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper. You can use chicken breasts if your prefer, but you know how at our house, we love the chicken thighs? You really should try them.
Turn them over and do the same thing to the other side.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet, get it pretty smoking hot (medium high heat), and add in as many as you can without crowding them. For me, this was just four at a time.
Don’t turn them too soon and let the sear happen on the chicken (at least 3-4 minutes) because this is going to seal in all the wonderful juices in the chicken. Then flip them over and sear the other side as well so that they are nicely browned on both sides.
Remove them to a plate and repeat with the other four thighs then add them to the plate as well.
Now the bottom of your skillet should be a little messy and have some grungy, meaty, leftover-brown-stuff clinging to it.
That’s GOOD STUFF by gosh and don’t you dare think about washing it out!
Measure out two cups of apple cider.
Pour it right int the pan.
Using your whisk, scrape all that goodness off the bottom of the pan.
Then add in a tablespoon each of two different mustards.
I love the combination of these two so much (remember my Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs and my Honey Mustard Chicken and Potatoes?). The stone ground is earthier and has some texture and the Dijon has that white wine and nice bite to it. Together they just make for a to-die-for sauce.
Add in two tablespoons of fresh chopped sage (or 1 t. dried if you can’t find it).
Now because I love the elements of sour, spicy, savory and sweet all together, add in 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes as well (no picture – sorry!).
Mix it all up!
Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish and add your chicken in a single layer.
Pour the cider sauce over top.
Chop up two tart apples (like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Pink Ladies).
And sprinkle them evenly around the chicken.
Take a spatula or spoon and press them down into the sauce really well.
And toss this into a 400º oven for an hour and half. You want the sauce to reduce down about by half and the apples to be soft and browned.
Serve this up. Ohhhhhhhhh my yum!
I wonder how many times I can make this until cider is gone from my stores?
See what other fabulous bloggers are making for today’s Food Network Fall Fest celebration featuring apples!
The Lemon Bowl: Tuna Salad with Apples
Creative Culinary: Boozy Snickerdoodle Cake with Apples
The Fed Up Foodie: Green Apple Butterscotch Macadamia Nut Cookies
Hey Grill Hey: Skillet Bacon Apple Crisp
A Mind “Full” Mom: Salted Caramel Apple Butter
Dishin & Dishes: Chicken with Cider Sauce and Apples
Foodtastic Mom: Ketucky Apple Skillet Cake
Healthy Eats: 6 Lighter Ways to Cook and Bake with Apples
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 9 Amazing Apple Recipes
Mom Loves Baking: Chocolate Turtle Apple Slices
Taste with the Eyes: Red Lentil Penne, Apple, Walnut, Mint, and Gorgonzola Sauce
Swing Eats: Apple Roses (gluten-free)
FN Dish: Kick Off Fall with Food Network’s Favorite 5-Star Apple Desserts