Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chicken with Apple-Cream Sauce

Get the most out of fall's apples by adding them to this tasty (and easy!) entree.

  • 4 Gardein Tuscan chicken breasts (without sauce)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 3 cups thinly sliced and peeled Braeburn apple
  • 3/4 cup plain non-dairy creamer
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the chicken pieces evenly with the salt, thyme, and black pepper.  Add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  Remove the chicken from the pan.

2. Add the apple cider to the pan, scraping to remove the browned bits that accumulated while the chicken cooked.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, until reduced to 1/3 cup.

3. Add the sliced apple and the cream.  Continue to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally - the sauce will thicken, and the apples will be tender.

4. Serve 1 chicken piece on each of 4 plates, along with 1/2 cup sauce.

This dish will be best served immediately.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 chicken breast, 1/2 cup sauce), Calories 285 

Tasting Notes:
First, the sauce. I would bottle this sauce and sell it on supermarket shelves and eat it by the spoonful - it was that good. Like a creamy hot cider with warm milk stirred in (which I guess is, well, exactly what it was). The combination of apple and chicken is a wonderful blend of sweet with savory, and the thyme added depth and woodsy flavor to keep the meal from being too sweet. If you want more pronounced flavor, consider spicing the apples with a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg.


This recipe is a great way to play with Gardein chicken - discard the sauce that comes in the package, and consider the chicken a blank template to do with as you please. Here are a few more simple ideas I've tried in the past month.

Make quick quesadillas by shredding the cooked chicken with a fork or by hand, and placing between two flour tortillas, along with your favorite vegan cheese.  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side in a skillet, then cut into wedges.  Great with either black beans:

or refried beans added to the filling.

Grill the chicken, then cut into slices and fan atop a big Greek salad. Add romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers, and vegan feta.

Chop the chicken and toss with your favorite Italian dressing. Thread onto skewers with olives and artichokes, and grill.

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