honey-mustard chicken and apples

It’s officially apple weather (not to mention sweater, boot, and patterned scarves weather).  After a long, hot summer (50 plus days above 90 degrees!), these cool, fall days are refreshing and crisp, and beg for nights filled with hot apple cider, apple pie, apple brown betties, and honey mustard chicken with apples.

Whaaat?  Okay, so that last dish is probably somewhat less common in most cook’s vernaculars, and it was new to me, too, until last week.

I love adding apples to savory meals, but in the past, I’ve stuck with pork and apple dishes (specifically, pork chops with sauerkraut, brown sugar, and Fuji apples…yum!), so the whole chicken/apple thing was news to me.  I am, however, familiar with the awesomeness that is honey-mustard chicken, so I decided to green-light this quick and easy recipe.

You start this dish on the stove top and finish it off in the oven, which guarantees tasty, juicy (not brittle and dried out) chicken.  The apples and honey-mustard take the spotlight with their tangy sweetness, and the onions act as the back-up singers.  The delicious back-up singers.

Honey-Mustard Chicken and Apples

Courtesy of Food Network Magazine, October 2010

Ingredients

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (2 to 2 and 1/2 lbs)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, cut into large chunks

2 cooking apples (such as Cortland), cut into chunks

1 cup chicken broth

2 to 3 tablespoons honey mustard

1 and 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 to 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until golden, about 6 minutes.  Flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes, then transfer to a plate.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings.

2. Add the onion and apples to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.  Mix the broth with the mustard, then add to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, in the skillet.  Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Mix the butter and flour to form a paste.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken, apples, and onion to plates.  Bring the pan juices to a simmer, whisk in about half of the butter-flour mixture and boil to thicken, 2 minutes.  Continue to cook, adding more of the butter-flour mixture as needed to make a slightly thick gravy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

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