Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Maple Chicken Breasts with Caramelized Apples

I cook a lot of chicken, so I know how difficult it is to make chicken taste interesting. Bland and boring describe a lot of chicken recipes, but not this one! I took a pork tenderloin recipe from Dinner with Julie and made it with chicken, which I prefer. The flavors reminded me of dishes we had while in Normandy. It was savory and sweet with a tartness from the apple, and the mustard gives it a great, but subtle, undertone of flavor. My favorite part of this dish, however, was the maple syrup. How can you ever go wrong with a dish made with real maple syrup? The answer: you can't!

Maple Chicken Breasts with Caramelized Apples
*Adapted from Dinner with Julie

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
3-4 chicken breasts
Black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 tart apple, cored and sliced
1-2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2-3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 half and half
In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken generously with pepper and thyme.
Cook chicken for about 5 minutes each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Sauté the apples in the pan for a few minutes, until they start to soften and turn a little golden. They will pick up some bits of chicken from the pan, which adds to the flavor.
Add the mustard and maple syrup to a bowl.
Mix in the half and half.
Add the mixture to the apples and stir. Simmer and let it thicken.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve. Enjoy!

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