Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Breasts with Apples and Pears

Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Breasts with Apples and Pears

I’m friends with a couple that speak of themselves as if they were harvested from an orchard. He refers to himself as an apple, and she claims to be a pear. In today’s fruity vernacular, they are referring to their body types. He says he’s a typical man, larger on top and smaller bellow. She says her “pear-shaped” body stores more fat below the belt than above.

Apples, he says, are more prone to heart disease and diabetes. She says pears are not as prone to those diseases but have a harder time removing fat from their lower portion.

I admire the sturdy shape of both apples and pears and resent them used within a context of heart disease and fat. Their fiber-rich, sweet-tart flesh are marvelously healthy. I especially enjoy cooking with them at this time of the year.

When cooking with pears, you want to make sure they are firm-ripe; the flesh should give slightly when lightly pressed. If they are too ripe they will fall apart.

I select the Bosc or D’Anjou for this recipe and reserve the Bartlett pear for soup recipes; the juicy Comise pears are for eating out of hand. Smaller pears such as Seckel and Forelle are fine for cooking, but take longer to peel and core because of their size. I describe some delicious apple varieties in a previous (Oct. 2) Gingered Three-Apple Salad dinnerFeed.

My family enjoys time-saving Near East Roasted Pecan Whole Grain Blend, available at most groceries.  I generally don’t like sodium-rich spice mixes that accompany boxed products, but Near East products, to my palate, are decent. I use 1/2 the spice mix to reduce the sodium. If you’d prefer a scratch-made grain, see my July 18 dinnerFeed recipe for delicious Cracked Wheat Pilaf with Fresh Vegetables.

Recipe: Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Breasts with Apples and Pears

Ingredients

  • 2 large firm-ripe pears
  • 2 medium tart apples
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves
  • Scant teaspoon finely chopped shallot, optional
  • 1 cup apple cider or chicken stock, or combination of both
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 
2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Parsley sprigs for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Wash, core and peel pears and apple. Slice each into 6-8, 1/4-inch wedges.
  2. Lightly season one side of chicken breasts with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over until medium high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, add chicken and sear 4 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of breast, or until juices run clear when thickest part is pierced with tip of knife. Transfer chicken to plate.
  3. In same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add an additional tablespoon grape seed oil and cook pear and apple wedges and shallot, if desired, 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned and just tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cider or stock, vinegar, and cornstarch; add to skillet with pears. Over high heat, bring mixture to a slow boil 1 minute. Reduce heat and return chicken and any juice on plate to skillet; heat through and serve garnished with a parsley sprig if desired.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 3-4

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

More Recipes Filed Under "Fall"

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