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Enjoy this delicious Chicken Fricassee with Apples made with gently stewed chicken breasts in a creamy white sauce with chicken broth, apple cider and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Onions and apples give this dish a light fresh sweetness and plenty of complex flavor.
I came across this recipe by Cook’s Country and just had to give it a try. While their version might have turned out prettier than mine, this is proof positive that looks aren’t everything. This dish was very hard to shoot too, because brown food is so brown! But don’t let the lackluster appearance stop you from giving it a try. The aroma alone is intoxicating! When my husband came through the door after work, he didn’t even say hello before asking what smelled so good. “Just a little fricassee sweetie!”
What is a fricassee anyway?
A fricassee is typically made with some kind of stewed or sautéed meat in a creamy, thick white sauce. I suppose you could fricassee just about anything that tastes good in a creamy sauce. Some sources say that a fricassee is an old-fashioned country dish while others argue it’s French heritage. A cross between a stew and a sauté, there seem to be as many fricassee recipe variations as their are stars in the sky. This refreshing fricassee from Cook’s Country builds a flavorful white sauce using apple cider and caramelized onions. White wine is sometimes used in fricassees as well as a variety of vegetables. Whatever the origins, ingredients or method, this humble one pan fricassee is ultimate comfort food!
What kind of apples are best in a savory dish?
For savory dishes I always use a sweet apple like Fuji, Gala or Braeburn, to name a few. When baking desserts I try to use a tart apple like Granny Smith. Tart apples aren’t as good in a savory dish and sweet apples are almost too sweet in desserts. If you’re not sure which apples are sweet and which are tart, just Google the apple variety while you’re in the grocery store. Sometimes stores and markets will provide a short description about the apple on the signage. But if not, whip out your smart phone and find out on the spot! There are so many apple varieties it’s hard to know one from the other anymore. Just remember, sweet apples for savory and tart apples for sweet recipes.
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Chicken Fricassee with Apples
- 2 sweet apples like Fuji, Gala or Braeburn
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed
- salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 onion chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup apple cider (not sweetened apple juice)
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley or additional thyme leaves for garnish
- Wash the apples and cut each into fourths. Do not remove the skin. Cut away the seeds and core, then cut each quarter into four ½-inch-thick wedges. You should have a total of 16 wedges for each apple.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Dry the chicken breasts with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour to coat and transfer to a clean plate. Set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and heat until melted. Add the apple slices, cut side down, to the hot skillet. Cook the apples until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the now empty skillet. Once melted, add the chicken breasts and cook until well browned on both sides. Transfer back to the plate.
- Immediately add the onion, thyme leaves and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the hot skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onion is softened and browned, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the cider and broth (not vinegar yet) to the onions in the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the browned chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Do not turn the chicken.
- Remove the chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the cream to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir until combined. Add the apples, and any accumulated chicken juices to the skillet. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the sauce over the chicken breasts and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
- Optional add ins: Sprinkle 1/2 cup frozen peas over the sauce at the end to add a little color to the dish. Mushrooms or carrots would also be great added at the same time as the onions.
- Make sure to brown the chicken, apples and onions well for good caramelization and color.
- This recipe moves fast so it’s best to have all ingredients prepped and measured before you start cooking. Read through the recipe a time or two before starting and it will be much easier to make.
- Recipe adapted from Cook's Country magazine
How to trim boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Grocery stores and markets all have different ways of prepping and packaging chicken breasts. When using boneless, skinless chicken in your cooking, you may find some breasts still have the smaller thinner piece called the tenderloin attached on the underside near the ribs. For most recipes it’s probably a good idea to remove the tenderloin so the chicken will cook more evenly. If not previously frozen, just drop the tenderloin pieces in a freezer safe bag and freeze until you have enough to make a meal. Or, poach the tenderloins separately and use in salads or on sandwiches in the week ahead.
Sometimes you might see a spot where the breast was originally attached to the bone. It’s a gristly, blood tinged knot that should be cut away. Those areas will not soften when cooked so it’s best to remove it altogether if possible. Finally, be sure to remove any visible fat, skin or tendons from the breasts without cutting into the meat.
Here are a few more of our favorite one-pan chicken wonders you may also like!
Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Herb Pan Sauce – tender, juicy and inexpensive, chicken thighs are a terrific addition to the weeknight recipe rotation. Simmered gently in our rich and flavorful pan sauce, these versatile thighs may be your new family favorite! Click HERE to get the Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Herb Pan Sauce recipe.
Classic Chicken Marsala ~ tender chicken breasts are seasoned and sautéed, then simmered in a Marsala wine sauce with shallots, prosciutto, and plenty of earthy mushrooms. Your guests never have to know how easy this is to make! Click HERE to get the Class Chicken Marsala recipe.
Skillet Chicken with Potatoes & Vegetables is a homey, comforting dish that’s even great the next day – yeah for amazing leftovers! Click HERE to get the recipe for Skillet Chicken with Potatoes & Vegetables.
We use a large non-stick skillet for this recipe. Click on the photo below for more information:
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia