Apples are one of the most widely available and consumed fruits. While they come into season in Canada in early fall, they have become available year round at most grocery stores.
Freshly baked apple pie is possibly the most emblematic apple dish that comes to mind during apple season. And the other iconic dishes are just as sweet - apple jam, apple cider, applesauce, apple turnovers. Apples are most widely incorporated into dessert recipes, but they make a welcome addition to savoury dishes as well. They add a wonderful freshness, crisp texture and sweet/tart flavour. They happen to pair wonderfully with chicken, whose mild flavour and hearty texture act as the perfect canvas for a sweet and savoury contrast. Apples are also rich in vitamin C and fibre, giving your recipe an additional nutritional boost.
With so many varieties of apple to choose from, how do you know which is the right one for your recipe? Here are a few things to consider.
Flavour. Some apples run sweet, like Honey Crisp or Ambrosia, while some are tart, like Granny Smith. Choose a flavour that compliments the dish you’re making. You can use multiple varieties in the same recipe to get the right balance.
Texture. It is also important to choose an apple that will hold up well against the heat of cooking. If you want your apples to maintain their shape and texture when done, choose a denser apple like Cortland or Gala. If your desired result is more of an apple purée, then McIntosh or Red Delicious are good choices.
Preparation. Be sure to wash your apples well with warm water and remove the core and seeds, which have an unpalatable flavour and texture. Cut your apples into appropriately sized pieces. Thinly sliced pieces will likely dissolve when cooked for long periods of time. Cut larger chunks if you want them to retain their shape.
With these points in mind, this apple season - or next time you’re at the grocery store - grab a few of your favourite cooking apples and try out one of these delicious chicken and apple recipes.
1. Salad of Apples, Grapes & Roast Chicken with Korean Dressing
This tasty Korean-style dressing blends up in a snap and is great on green, leafy salads. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks if you want to make a double batch.
2. Apple Cider Poached Chicken & Arugula Salad
Tart cherries, sharp cheese, and bitter arugula work together in this delectable salad to complement the familiar flavours of cider-poached chicken. As a light lunch, this salad will make you feel like you’re dining in a bistro. Serve alongside a soup at dinner and you have a delicious meal you’ll feel like making again and again.
3. Apple-Sage Chicken Saute
All too often we forget that apples can star in the saute pan as well as the fruit bowl. Make them buttery and sage-scented and cozy them up beside juicy chicken and you’ve got the best of market fresh dining. You won’t find a more delicious use for that “apple a day.”
4. Spiced Chicken & Apple Omelette
Try this easy and economical omelette that pairs crisp, juicy apples with warm cinnamon, Canadian cheddar and leftover roast chicken.
5. One Minute Chicken and Apple Tortilla Melt
This portable sandwich will be the star of your child’s lunchbox.
6. Chicken in Apple Mustard Sauce
The tart, sweet apple and pungent onion make a dazzling contrast in flavours. The chicken would look nice served with mashed potatoes and a bright green vegetable. One teaspoon of dried thyme can be substituted for fresh thyme.
7. Autumn Chicken and Apple Stew
Take advantage of the best of fall’s flavours with this autumn stew. Apples, Dijon mustard, cabbage, and carrots all combine in this one-pot dish to fill your house with familiar aromas. Perfect for a fall day with a bit of a chill in the air, serve this stew with bread rolls on the side for dunking.
8. Chicken, Apple and Bacon Skewers
Sweet, savoury and smoky skewers are glazed with real maple syrup and grilled to caramelized perfection.
9. Braised Apple Balsamic Chicken Thighs
Simple pantry ingredients come together to make flavourful and affordable weeknight dish.
10. Big Juicy Apple Cheddar Burgers
These delicious chicken burgers are topped with whole berry cranberry sauce mixed with Dijon mustard. They are a nice change from the usual mustard, relish and ketchup.
11. BBQ Chicken over Apple Maple Baked Beans
Here is a hearty slow cooker meal you can quickly put together using common kitchen ingredients. It is popular with kids and adults alike.
12. Curried Waldorf Salad
This is a combination of two classic salads: the Waldorf and the curried chicken salad. On the one hand you get the fruit and nut flavours from the Waldorf and then the subtle smokiness from the curry powder. All of these are mixed together with a low fat yogurt dressing and paired with sweet roasted peppers and crunchy iceberg lettuce. We love layering this salad in one large or four individual mason jars for a stunning presentation.
13. Chicken Sausage Patties with Apples & Sage
These versatile sausage patties are a welcome addition to any meal. Serve alongside eggs in the morning, or as a burger at supper.
14. Maple Glazed Chicken with Cheddar Apple Stuffing
Chicken breasts are plumped up with a sage-scented apple and cheddar stuffing, roasted to perfection and then finished with a maple-Dijon glaze. The flavour profile smacks of comforting fall dinners - so why not add root vegetables, such as pieces of squash, parsnips and sweet potatoes to the oven - and when the chicken is done you can tuck into a complete roasted dinner.