Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Apple-Fennel Salad

I read this recipe in my November issue of Bon Appetit and knew I wanted to try this out. It is a simply sauteed chicken breast half served over a salad of mixed greens with finely sliced fennel and apple dressed with an apple cider vinaigrette. The final touch is a sauce made with apple cider vinegar which I drizzled over the chicken. I served this with oven roasted fingerling potatoes which were in my CSA basket along with some fresh rosemary; I simply added some olive oil and crushed garlic before roasting.

This turned out to be a very flavorful dinner with the apple cider and apple cider vinegar providing that punch of flavor. I will definitely make this again.

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Apple-Fennel Salad (Serves 4)
Adapted from Bon Appetit

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 lb. total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Granny Smith apple
1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
3/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
5 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 cups mixed baby lettuces
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced lengthwise with a mandoline or sharp knife

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper; set aside. Cut 1 small slice from apple; finely chop to make 1 tablespoon minced apple. Transfer minced apple to a small bowl. Add shallot to bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and mustard. Let mixture macerate for 10 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons oil; season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until cooked through 10-12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, reserving skillet; set aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add cider, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan; boil until liquid is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter. Season cider sauce with salt and set aside.

Thinly slice remaining apple and transfer to a medium bowl; add lettuces and fennel. Drizzle some vinaigrette over, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Divide salad and chicken among plates; spoon sauce over chicken.

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