To. Die. For. Absolutely crazy-delicious. This is a recipe I got out of the cookbook, ‘COUNTRY WEEKEND ENTERTAINING’ by Anna Pump with Gen LeRoy, authors of The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook. If that isn’t reason enough to give it a try, believe me when I tell you…you can serve this to guests with complete confidence or do as we very often do and make for a weeknight dinner – either way, it’s a win. Whatever you do, you’ll do it more than once! Oh and please … try not to drink the sauce, will ya’? …Very unbecoming!
Thyme-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sautéed Apples and Cider sauce
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tart apples, peeled, cored, cut into wedges
4 chicken cutlets (approximately 2 pounds)
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil
½ cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy)
½ cup apple cider
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 200ºF.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle in the sugar. When the skillet is hot, add the apples and sauté for 2 minutes, then transfer the apples to an ovenproof plate. Place in the warm oven until ready to use.
Trim the chicken cutlets of all fat. Season with the thyme, salt, and pepper, pressing it onto both sides of the cutlets.
Add the peanut oil and the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. So as not to crowd the pan, sauté the cutlets in batches over medium heat, 6 minutes per side, until they’re cooked through. Transfer the cutlets to a plate and place them in the warm oven.
In the same skillet, sauté the shallots, tossing them for about 2 minutes to make sure they cook on all sides. Add the Calvados and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the apple cider and cream and, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat until the sauce starts to thicken. This should take about 2 minutes.
To serve, place a chicken cutlet on each of the 4 plates. Nap each with some sauce. Place the sautéed apples around the cutlet and garnish with the thyme sprigs. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings