Thyme-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sautéed Apples and Cider Sauce

Update Alert: Still one of our all-time most delectable faves! 🙂 This post was originally published a few years back but it deserves a top spot in your fall cooking line up today. The Cider Sauce is everything. What an incredible treat for an autumn dinner!

As we start to head into Autumn, there’s always one dish that springs to mind immediately for my family. Not that you couldn’t make this dish in the summer or warm weather months, but I’ve always designated it in my cooking rotations as a fall/winter specialty. The recipe is one of my many delicious finds from Anna Pump’s ‘Country Weekend Entertaining’ cookbook. When I first started Mitts and Measures, I posted this recipe but did not have pictures ( I started the blog last March…spring had already started!) and absolutely feel it’s worth re-posting. On my first post, I firmly instructed you not to drink the sauce, as it is seriously so good, I’m telling you you’ll be thinking about it when heads are turned the other way. A better idea is to do what we do… make plenty of mashed potatoes to go alongside so you’ll get ample opportunity to devour enjoy the divine stuff. This is a simple dish that comes together quickly and if you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to get this into your own fall/winter rotation this year… at least several times.

Sauté apples for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.

To avoid overcrowding, cook the chicken (until just cooked through) in batches and remove to a plate to keep warm. Once all chicken is cooked, make the amazing sauce right in the pan.

Thyme-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sautéed Apples and Cider sauce

5 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon sugar

4 tart apples, peeled, cored, cut into wedges (I actually used MacIntosh – Delicious!)

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

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14 thoughts on “Thyme-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sautéed Apples and Cider Sauce

  1. lol…thank you! The pan has served me well for many years now. The clean is owed to Barkeepers Friend – couldn’t live without it! The sauce really is great. Yes… one taste and you’ll think of any excuse to “taste” more!

  2. Have to say I’m coveting your sauté pan. Besides the fact it’s spotlessly clean, which is how I like my pans to be. Anyway, I can imagine this sauce is delicious. Think I would have to taste it for seasoning – a lot! – before serving. Just to make sure 🙂

  3. I know I will love this dish, no question, I love anything with apples or apple cider! And thank goodness there’s a local u-pick farm with great apple selections. Will go picking soon, then I will make this! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh good… I’m so glad. I’ve tried several different kinds of apples when making this and they all seem to work just fine. The only thing is to be sure you don’t overcook them or they will turn mushy. It doesn’t seem like it’s enough cook time when you’re sautéing them, but really all they need is a couple of minutes. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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