Saturday, December 31, 2011

Skillet Chicken with Cranberries and Apples

December 30th---and what a month it has been! Does any time go as fast as during those thirty-one days of December?

I am sitting at the computer, looking outside on a lovely, late-December day. The sun has already begun to dip behind trees covering the hills to the west even though it’s barely 4pm, and the thermometer read 54 degrees when I walked by the window last. We’re in southwestern Pennsylvania, so this cannot last. But it is a nice gift.

That’s what my Mom called it this morning. She phoned and told me that she took “this gift of a day” and went for a nice, long walk. Having broken her ankle last summer, and become increasingly frustrated with limping and pain throughout the fall, this past month she finally got back into her walking routine. When the weather is decent, about two miles a day (as far as I can figure out) and I applaud her. Although I cringe at the thought of her out on country lanes, walking on the edge of the road, and I only wish that she would get her act together and locate some of the flashing devices I have bought her in the past few years to wear so that she can be safe. Are you listening, Mummy????

I am being forced to sit and be quiet and wait out the last days of a fairly nasty asthma attack that began on Christmas Eve day. I have spent several hours combing through my cooking and baking notes (dating from September!) and realize how hopelessly behind I am. There just isn’t enough time in the day for everything.

I have a photo, and nailed the recipe, for a wonderful linguine with white clam sauce. I’ve seen the scribbled recipe floating around the kitchen for a couple of months now and, of course, since I have the time to post I cannot seem to locate it. Perhaps next time.

Next up, a photo from several weeks ago and I know where that recipe is. Online. Safe in the Eating Well website.

Skillet Chicken with Cranberries and Apples was, as I recall, my attempt at trying to cook a quick dinner but to also make something new and different. It fit the bill perfectly.

Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples

From EatingWell: September/October 2011

Celebrate the flavors of fall with chicken cooked in a fast apple-cranberry sauce. If you prefer a less tart flavor, try dried cranberries instead of fresh. Serve with quick-cooking wild rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound chicken tenders, trimmed and cut in half on the diagonal
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 crisp red apples, such as Braeburn, Fuji or Gala, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, quartered and sliced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice, divided
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  1. Sprinkle both sides of chicken tenders with 1/4 teaspoon each thyme, salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a clean plate.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add apples, onion, 2 tablespoons cider (or juice) and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each thyme and salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, until the apples and onion are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cranberries and sprinkle flour over everything in the pan; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and pour in the remaining cider (or juice). Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes more.


Per serving : 287 Calories; 10 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 63 mg Cholesterol; 26 g Carbohydrates; 24 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 496 mg Sodium; 415 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

I cut boneless skinless chicken breasts in pieces instead of using chicken tenders, but otherwise prepared the original recipe as written. It took so little time to make that I had to hold it in the pan for several minutes while the pilaf finished cooking. The chicken was tender, the tart cranberries a very nice contrast to the sweet apple, and there were a lot of pan juices which soaked into the multigrain pilaf wonderfully. I also served mashed sweet potatoes, and the dinner was a hit. Very warming, and flavorful, and healthy. In fact, this will probably be our dinner this evening.