Seared Apple-Apricot Chicken

06Oct10

So, my friend, ever been in the mood for some tasty savory-sweet chicken with a light crust? Well, then – you’re in for a treat. I’ve been vetting this recipe for a few weeks now, bringing it to a place of perfection. I think we’re there. The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. Pears, apricots, and even DRIED apricots, make suitable replacements for the fresh apple in this recipe – though I recommend soaking dried apricots for 10 minutes or so in warm water, if that’s what you plan on using.

For those cooking for one, this dish keeps excellently. Pack the other half of the recipe in your tupperware and by the time you heat it up for lunch the next day, all the tasty juices will have marinated the chicken and made everything taste even BETTER than when you had it hot for dinner the night before.

And if you’ve had a day like mine, be encouraged. This recipe requires one to destroy something with a blunt object, even a rolling pin, if you prefer. It’s a good way to get out the day’s aggravation while practicing your ninja skillz.

This dish tickle your taste buds, but you’ll also find that you can pair just about any side with it. In the past month, we’ve paired roasted lemon asparagus, creamy mashed potatoes, spicy roasted red potato fries, and a broccoli-potato mash with this recipe, and all to great success. Drooling yet? I’ll get you the recipes for those sides soon, too.

Folks, you really can diet AND eat filling, tasty meals – yes, even mashed potatoes. It just takes some tweaks, a little experimentation, a few failures, and an entree intriguing and ultimately delicious enough to make it all worthwhile.

From my kitchen to yours…

Seared Apple-Apricot Chicken
SERVES TWO

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – about 7 1/2 ounces each
1/4 cup flour – about 40g, of which you’ll probably use only half
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 shallot – chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth – more, if you like more sauce
1 tbs white vinegar
1 medium-sized apple, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces – Fiji, Gala, and Pink Lady varieties do very well
1 tbs sugar-free apricot preserves
1 tsp tarragon
salt
pepper

Wrap your chicken breasts loosely in plastic wrap or place in a freezer ziplock bag. Attack that chicken with a rolling pin until each chicken breast is thinned to about 1 to 1 1/2 inch thickness. Chicken will look a little roughed up, but that’s okay. Season chicken breasts lightly with pepper.

Meanwhile, heat canola oil over medium-high heat in pan – non-stick is best, but you’ll be just fine with stainless steel or cast iron.

Dredge chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess. A little flour will do: no need to cake the meat in the stuff. Place each chicken breast into the hot pan and cook each side until chicken is done – about five minutes for each side. Plate the cooked chicken and cover with foil for the time being.

Remove pan from heat. Deglaze with chicken broth, add shallot, and vinegar. Return to medium heat. Cook until sauce reduces some, about 3 minutes. Add chopped apple. Reduce further, another 3 minutes. Add apricot preserves and tarragon and mix well.

Return chicken breasts to pan, covering the top with sauce. Let sit for a minute or two so that the juices begin to permeate the chicken. Remove from heat and serve, heaping plenty of sauce on each chicken breast. Any side will do but roasted veggies or a serving of brown rice work particularly well.

Calorie Breakdown
PER SERVING

7 1/2 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast [200 calories]
10g flour [35 calories]
1 tsp vegetable oil [40 calories]
1/2 shallot [15 calories]
4 oz. chicken broth [5 calories]
1/2 medium apple [60 calories]
1/2 tbs sugar-free apricot preserves [5 calories]
TOTAL: 360 calories

ENJOY!

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One Response to “Seared Apple-Apricot Chicken”

  1. Hey Michelle,

    I think people don’t realize that eating well and dieting can go together because they believe that the only way to diet well is to eat only “diet” foods, which are probably TERRIBLE for true dieting (as a lifestyle change) because they’re not real food! It’s all processed crap. 😛 BUT if a person understands that diet needs to change long term if you want long term success, and that means actually going in to your kitchen to make your own food, then I think people are more likely to be successful. As is, I REALLY want to try this dish out! 😀


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