Baked Apples and Chicken

"The result is a baked apple that has lots of hidden places for the glaze to go and each slice is just the right size for each piece of chicken."

This is the sort of one-skillet deliciousness that you would expect when you visit grandma’s house.  Pan-grilled chicken and glazed baked apples. Plus, it’s the perfect meal to bring us into the fall.

 Normally when apples are served with chicken or pork, they are softly sautéed and served on the side.

I love the way these apples look and taste. They are called Hasselback apples – referring to the method of making lots of thin slices three quarters of the way down the fruit.

 The result is a baked apple that has lots of hidden places for the glaze to go and each slice is just the right size for each piece of chicken.  Since you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen cabinets, I say pick up some fresh skinless boneless chicken thighs and make this comfort food meal for dinner this week.

Ingredients for the apples:

 4 tablespoons brown sugar

 3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 Pinch of nutmeg, optional

2 teaspoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 large firm apples, peeled, cored, and halved (vertically)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and salt. Whisk to combine. Slice each half of an apple into thin slices three quarters of the way down, leaving the bottom of the halved apple intact.

 Place apple halves flat side down in a baking dish. Spoon or brush half of the brown sugar/butter mixture over the apples. Cover and bake for 25 minutes or until apples are cooked but still slightly firm. Meanwhile, make chicken.

Ingredients for the chicken:

8 boneless skinless boneless chicken thighs

2 tablespoons cooking oil

Salt and pepper

Ingredients for the glaze:

1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1½ tablespoons soy sauce

1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Combine the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, honey or agave nectar and ground pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine and then set aside. Wash and pat the chicken thighs dry. 

Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. In a cast iron or heavy skillet, heat oil. When hot, add chicken thighs and cook until browned on both sides.

 When the second side is browned, spoon the glaze over the thighs. Reduce heat to medium high and cook until chicken is done and sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon remainder of the apple glaze over the baked apples and return to oven, uncovered for five minutes. 

Serve two pieces of chicken thighs and one apple half per serving.