Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Cran-Apple Sauce
By Katie Goodman
With summer produce at its end and cooler temperatures bringing cravings for heartier meals than those of summer, it’s time to start thinking about fall! It may seem that it’s time to say goodbye to those summer meals that are characteristically fresh and fast. On the contrary, you can still cook a delicious and hearty meal with fall harvested treats. And it can be on the table just in time!
In this recipe, a quick but complexly flavored sauce dresses up a simple pan-roasted chicken breast for a sweet and savory weeknight meal. Serve your favorite potato side (baked, roasted, mashed, white, or sweet) if you’re pressed for time. If time is on your side, this chicken pairs beautifully with Butternut Squash Risotto for a comforting fall meal.
Tip: if fresh cranberries are hard to come by in your grocery store outside of the Thanksgiving holiday season, stock up when they are available and store the bags of cranberries in the freezer.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Fresh thyme stems
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup water
1½ cup fresh cranberries
¾ cup chopped apples, such as gala
Juice from 1 large orange
Zest of ½ orange
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon allspice
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of ginger
Step 1: Make 3 diagonal slashes in the chicken breasts, cutting only partway through the thickness. Stuff each slash with thyme stems. Pepper the chicken on both sides, and set aside.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients for the cran-apple sauce except the apples. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the cranberries pop and the sauce has begun to thicken — about 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir in the chopped apples.
Step 3: Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts, browning on both sides, until the chicken is cooked through (juices run clear and temperature should register 160°F with a meat thermometer). Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
Step 4: Meanwhile, sauté the shallot for 1 minute in the same pan used for the chicken. De-glaze the pan with the white wine. Make sure to scrape up all the bits from the pan because they have a lot of flavor.
Step 5: Transfer the wine remains and shallots to the cranberry sauce. Stir to combine, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. To serve, place a large spoonful of sauce on each chicken breast. Remove the thyme stems from slices before eating.