Don’t get me wrong, I love a piping hot mug of apple cider with a cinnamon stick (that I may or may not use as a straw) on a cool day, but I urge you to try it in something other than your mug.
Have you ever tried cooking with it? I know… I see the wheels turning.
Apple cider is often overlooked as an ingredient. Probably because it isn’t the first thing you might think of when making a savory dish, but why not? Besides chicken, I bet it would be amazing with pork tenderloin or chops.
But in this chicken skillet recipe, onions, herbs, apple cider and chicken broth simmer away to make for an excellent pan sauce. Oh, and did I mention that there’s bacon involved?
Grab your ingredients, and get ready for a mind-blowing dinner!
Pounding chicken breasts is super simple and necessary when making this recipe. Flattening the chicken into uniform thickness helps your chicken cook quickly and evenly in the pan. Just place a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap (or a re-sealable bag).
Use the flat side of your meat tenderizer and pound it until it’s about a 1/4 inch thick. Don't have a meat tenderizer? Use a rolling pin or another heavy utensil.
And just like that you have a thin chicken breast. Repeat with the rest.
Next, season the chicken evenly on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper.
In a deep 10- or 12-inch skillet, add the bacon and turn the temperature to medium. Slowly heating the bacon will render the fat and crisp the bacon nicely.
While the bacon is cooking, dice up a half cup of yellow onion.
Once the bacon is crispy, use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a dish. You want as much of the bacon fat left in the pan as possible.
Working in batches; lay the flattened chicken breasts into the hot pan with the bacon fat.
Cook the chicken about 6-8 minutes per side (or until fully cooked) before repeating with the remaining two chicken breasts. Keep the chicken warm on a plate tightly under foil.
Add the onion to the pan.
Sauté the diced onion in the bacon fat for 6-8 minutes until soft, translucent and slightly golden. Add in a teaspoon each of the chopped thyme and sage.
Cook for an additional one to two minutes.
Sprinkle in the 2 tablespoons of flour.
Stir and cook for a minute.
Keep stirring while pouring in the chicken broth.
And the unsweetened apple cider.
Whisk while the sauce boils and thickens, about 5-8 minutes.
Once the sauce has thickened and is reduced by half, add the cooked bacon. Taste and season the sauce with salt and black pepper to your preference.
Return the chicken and any juices that have accumulated into the pan and heat through.
Serve the chicken over angel hair pasta or rice, and spoon the glorious sauce over the top, making sure you get some of that bacon, and serve it alongside of your favorite steamed veggie.
My whole family enjoyed this recipe, from my picky husband to my even-pickier eight-year-old. The chicken is moist and the sauce has a subtle sweetness from the cider and the heavenly smokiness from the bacon. It’s a quick and easy dish to whip up and definitely one that I know you will love!