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Monday, September 24, 2012

Autumn Cranberry Apple Chicken

We've had our first couple of really cool nights here in the deep south, so naturally I'm craving meals with warmth, spices, and smells of autumn. This is a cozy meal to warm up the whole family. It's definitely adaptable to the crock pot as well.

Autumn Cranberry Apple Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts, whole or sliced in half (can also use legs, thighs, etc.)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cranberries, fresh, frozen or dried. (If using dried, try to find good quality, plump cranberries)
2 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup catsup
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 cup chicken broth or white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a dutch oven or deep baking dish, rub a pat of butter over the bottom and sides. Place the apples and cranberries in the bottom.

In a small bowl, mix together the cider vinegar through the mustard. Add about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth; stir and set aside.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper and other seasonings you desire (herb mix, rosemary, etc.).
Heat a large skillet with a Tbsp. of butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken for about 2 minutes on first side, just until lightly browned. Toss in the onion slices and garlic. Using tongs, flip the chicken over and give the onions a stir. Sear the chicken for another minute or so, until browned. Place the chicken and onions over the apples and cranberries in the baking dish. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth, or white wine, if you have it on hand. Once reduced, pour over the chicken. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until apples are tender and chicken is cooked through. 

Accompaniment ideas:
green peas
braised red cabbage in apple cider vinegar and grainy mustard
grainy bread