This is an original recipe, though it is based on other recipes I have seen on various cooking shows. Many people may be a bit thrown off by the combination of ingredients. It is not often that fruit is used in this way in a mostly savory dish however the acidity of the apples blends well with the salt and the chicken flavor, especially when the juice of the apples is allowed to caramelize a little (but don't let it burn).
Chicken with Apples
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- 1 apple (McIntosh apples are my favorite for this, but any slightly tart apple will work)
- Cooking oil (I prefer olive oil)
Makes 2-3 servings
Butterfly the chicken breasts and lay out flat. Now we want to pound the chicken so that it will be more tender and flexible. One good method of doing this is to place the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a blunt flat object grasped firmly in one hand strike the breast firmly (but not too hard, or else you will get chicken chunks all over the kitchen) beginning at the edge. You should use your other hand to hold onto the chicken breast itself so that it does not fly across the room. Do not spend too much time in one spot. Try to strike with the flattened portion of your weapon and not an edge or you will end up with chicken chunks. Work you way around the outside of the breast, and slowly to the thicker center part. When you are done you should have a sheet of chicken with constant thickness (if it is not don't stress too much, it is what you are shooting for, but is not strictly necessary). A water glass works well as a whacking implement so long as it has a flat bottom and no sharp edges. You can use a tenderizing hammer as well, but go very easy, and don't do it near other food as you will definitely atomize some chicken in the process. If you have made some holes in your breast, don't worry, all will be made right when we cook them. Set the breasts aside for now, we will move on to the apples.
Next, peel the apple (you could leave it on, but the peel is tough) and remove the core. Slice into wedges about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick and set aside.
To assemble the dish, take one of the chicken breasts out and lay it flat on your work surface. Place slices of apples on one half of the chicken breast, leaving a little space at the edges. Do not stack the slices. Once one half is covered, sprinkle the apples with some salt and fold over the free half to form sort of a chicken apple sandwich. Do this to the other breasts. You will probably have some apples left over. You may want to use toothpicks to hold the assembly together, as you can loose some apples in the cooking process.
Cook in a frying pan with a small amount of cooking oil just for lubrication purposes. Place chicken in the pan and cook on medium heat covered for about 5 to 7 minutes until the bottom half of the chicken (you should be able to see it) is opaque. Flip the chicken over at this point, being careful not to loose too many apples in the process. Cover the pan and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
At this point there should be a wonderful smell in you kitchen, and there should be a decent amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan. Check the chicken by cutting it open at the thickest part, or by inserting a thermometer to see if it is cooked. If it is not cooked yet, replace the cover and cook for a few more minutes until the chicken is cooked. Once the chicken is cooked, I usually remove the cover and let the liquid in the pan reduce. The liquid will brown slightly, but do not let it burn. Turning the chicken every few minutes will get a nice coating of the flavorful liquid on both sides.
Serve this dish over white rice or with potatoes. Both the chicken and the apples should be very tender. Remember when eating to make sure that you have a little bit of apple and a little bit of chicken in each bite for optimum satisfaction.
If you try this, please let me know what you think. I am always looking for
karma_debt has mentioned to me that if you cut open the chicken breast or pierce it with a thermometer you may let some of the tasty juices out and make it drier. I come from a family that is kind of paranoid about undercooked poultry so I like to be sure it's really done. Use your best judgement. I tend to wait to test untill I'm prety sure the meat is done, the knife or thermometer is basically just to verify. Cheers.