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Apple chicken from a favorite cookbook

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Apple Chicken  
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients
3 apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or MacIntosh, or a combination) 
1/2 lemon (optional - see step 1 below)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 whole, boneless, skinless, organic chicken breasts (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup chicken broth (I use my chicken "stock-sicles" for small amounts of broth like this)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions 
1. Core apples, peel them and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Rub them with the lemon to prevent discoloration. (You can skip this step if you're in a hurry – I usually do!) Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet and sauté the apples over medium-low heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle them with sugar, raise the heat, and cook over high-heat until lightly browned on all sides, shaking the pan constantly to prevent the apple slices from sticking. Set the apples aside.

2. Rinse the chicken well and pat it dry. Cut each chicken breast in half along the breastbone line. Flatten each breast half with a meat pounder until thin.

3. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Raise the heat, add the chicken, and cook until it is lightly colored, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

4. Add the onion to the skillet, cover and cook until it is tender and slightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and add the vinegar. Cook the mixture down to a syrup, about 1 minute. Then whisk in the cream, stock, and salt.

5. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer gently in the sauce, basting often, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook.

6. Remove the chicken breasts with a slotted spoon, and arrange them on heated plates (15 minutes in a 200 degrees F. oven, but not absolutely necessary). Add the apple slices to the skillet; cook over high heat until the sauce has reduced and the apples are thoroughly heated, about 1 minute. Spoon the apples around the chicken and pour the sauce over it. Serve immediately.

Related post from the Garden of Eating: Maple-glazed meatloaf with rolled oats and fresh thyme

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