Savory cooked apples are hard to do well, and being a pastry chef I always think of sweet applications first. Pick a firm apple that will hold up to being cooked, and make sure not to cook the apples for too long: you want them to have some texture in the final product. This is a simple recipe that my kids absolutely love.
4 10-ounce boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and sliced into ½ inch slices
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 medium sized apples, peeled and cored, sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup apple cider
1 cup chicken stock
6 large sage leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°. Arrange the chicken breasts on an oiled roasting pan with the skin side up, brush the skin with more oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place in the hot oven for 7 minutes or until the skin begins to crisp. Lower the oven to 300° and continue to cook for 15 more minutes, then remove from the oven and let rest at room temperature.
While the chicken is cooking, warm ¼ cup canola oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the onions until they begin to color lightly, then stir in the garlic. Drain the fat from the pan and add the apple wedges and the butter; let cook for about 1 minute or until the apples start to color lightly. Add the cider and the chicken stock, simmer until it is reduced to about ½ cup of liquid, then add the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the apples and onions onto a serving dish and arrange the chicken breasts on top, squeeze the lemon over the top, and serve at once.
Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!