Friday, December 11, 2009

Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce

I haven't posted in quite awhile. I'm just overwhelmed by the holidays, the remodel, four blogs, blah, blah, blah.

We are back from our Thanksgiving trip and my Christmas shopping is in full swing. My Christmas baking, however, has yet to begin. I have to get busy if I am going to ship some goodies off to my son, Mike, and his family.

We spent our Thanksgiving at Mike's and I hate to admit it, but I voluntarily stuffed myself over the Thanksgiving holiday and the days beyond and I started my feeding frenzy in the San Francisco bay area where our son lives.

Our first night, we enjoyed authentic (oh, thank you, God!) Mexican food at a little out of the way place tucked in the corner of a strip mall. I relished every single bite of my Carne Asada tacos. They were just like the "street tacos" we used to get in Tijuana, Mexico. Our obligatory chips were served with two kinds of salsa: a traditional salsa made with fresh ingredients (tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, garlic, lime juice and cilantro) and another salsa, made with roasted tomatoes, onions and peppers, that was to die for and one I will definitely attempt to duplicate in the future.

Thanksgiving Day my son, Mike, roasted the holiday turkey on his grill after he coated the skin with a chive and herb butter. Turkey is sometimes tricky to cook correctly because it tends to dry out very quickly if over cooked even a little. This turkey was perfectly moist and juicy, and it was served with all the traditional trimmings.

The following night Mike and Kathy treated us to a wonderful meal at a local Vietnamese restaurant, where I had Pho Bo, a Vietnamese beef noodle soup. Light, but filling.

Our final day in the bay area, we all spent the entire afternoon at the beach at Half Moon Bay, then enjoyed a late lunch at a small beachside cafe while sitting on an outside deck enjoying the beautiful sunny weather.

Then we were off to Fresno, in central California, where I was born and called home for most of my childhood, and more food. Steaks, truffled mashed potatoes, fresh steamed asparagus, sauteed spinach with roasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan for one meal; ham, sweet potatoes and a delicious pomegranate coleslaw for another.

When we finally arrived home last week, I was ready for some lighter food and found this really nice recipe for boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the Cooking Light website. No cream. No butter. Very little bacon, just enough for flavor. Cooked according to their recipe, only 269 calories per serving.

I read a few of the recipe reviews and made some changes to the original recipe accordingly, more specifically I used apple juice instead of apple cider only because that is all I had in the pantry; added a little wine to provide some richness to the sauce and also added some cornstarch to thicken it. We really liked this dish.

I served it with steamed broccoli and plain long grain rice.

Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce
adapted from using my changes and additions

  • 4 (6 oz. each) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bacon slices, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple cider (I used apple juice)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Place each chicken breast half in a large zip-lock bag and pound to about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick using a meat mallet. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp and remove it from the pan, leaving the bacon drippings. Add the chicken to the bacon drippings and cook on each side until done (about 3 or 4 minutes each side). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the olive oil to the skillet, then add the onion and cook until tender and translucent. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine, stirring well and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to loosen all of the browned bits. Add the cider to the wine in the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture is reduced to about 3/4 of a cup (about 5 minutes).

Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth and stir well with a small whisk or fork until cornstarch is completely incorporated. Add the mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened.

Stir the bacon into the sauce. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and cook until heated all the way through.

Serve the sauce over the chicken with rice or potatoes and enjoy!


Karen said...

This sounds so good! I'd love to make it... I'm going to have to live to be 120 to make all the great recipes I see on blogs! LOL

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