I welcome any opportunity to cook with fresh fruit! Here in the northeast I am so fortunate to be surrounded farmer’s markets, farm stands and family run farms. My grocery stores and supermarkets are supplied with the produce from local farmers and it makes a huge difference in the food I cook, including main meals, desserts, and snacks.
This recipe can work on so many levels. In previous posts I have suggested brining the chicken before using and this is another recipe where the chicken breasts would benefit from a prolonged soaking in a brine of water, salt and sugar to retain its natural juices. The brine also adds another level of sweet flavor that binds better with the sweet, tangy sauce.
By using apples, you add in additional fiber and vitamin C that any pregnant woman, and her family, needs. This recipe can be made in 1 pan so its easy prep and clean up, plus the recipe can be doubled and is perfect for re-heating. Fresh apple cider is superior to any store or commercially available product, but it’s OK to use what you have available. I always recommend avoiding the sugary commercial products but its fine to use them if that’s all that is available.
This recipe uses the bounty of apples to add subtle flavor and textures. Apples are available all year long, and this recipe can be created in any season. The flavors of the garlic, mustard, and apple cider combine to make a delicious sauce for the chicken (or any meat!). The addition of the apples add another layer of texture and flavor that can turn this dish from a simple dinner into an elegant meal for company or the perfect meal to bring as a hostess gift, to a party, or to bring to a family to provide them with several meals at a time.
You can change up the vegetables and add in potatoes, cabbage, Swiss chard, broccolini, escarole, or even kale and make this an even heartier meal. Pair this with fresh bread, or toasted pita triangles or slices of rye, sourdough, pumpernickel or gluten free bread. Add a variety of apples to the ingredients and change up the flavor profile, or change up the mustard and use imported French, German, English or Irish mustard for an additional layer of flavor. The possibilities are endless! Feel free to experiment with different combinations and share them with us.
Apple Glazed Chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (4 to 6 ounces each)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or Spicy Brown mustard
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 medium Granny Smith or McIntosh apples, cored and sliced (OK to peel in advance if preferred)
- 6 cups fresh spinach
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Add to heated skillet and cook until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm.
- Add garlic, mustard, apple cider and apple slices to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, 5 to 8 minutes until apples are slightly softened.
- Return the chicken and any juices to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add spinach to the skillet in small batches and toss until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve hot; drizzle with any additional sauce from the skillet.
Featured photo by Brett Jordan