A little food love goes a long way
February 19, 2013
By Karista Bennett
Valentine’s Day snuck up on me this year. It feels like yesterday I was planning Super Bowl food. And yet, last week I found myself scrambling to come up with something divinely delicious for the annual day of love.
Creating a special dinner for my family is my way of saying I love you. But alas, my dazzling Valentine dinner didn’t quite happen the way I’d planned. From work to school activities, homework and deadlines, it seemed a momentous task to bring everyone together on a Thursday evening for our Valentine feast.
The lovely celebration dinner was postponed. However, always looking for a good excuse to dine on the delicious, my darling family agreed to reconvene this weekend for our annual evening of food love.
I can think of no better way to celebrate than with this tantalizing little dish. Delighting the senses with enticing aromas and mingling flavors of sweet and savory — Brie and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Apple Cider Pan Sauce. Decadent enough to serve for Valentine’s Day but simple enough to prepare any night of the week.
Brie and apple stuffed chicken breasts with apple cider pan sauce (serves 4)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons high heat oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon diced shallot
- 2 apples, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- 4 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
Preheat the oven to 400F.
For the apples: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the shallots and let them cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the diced apples and cook until somewhat golden and tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in the chopped fresh sage and sauté a minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
For the chicken: At the largest end of each chicken breast, make a deep horizontal cut (pocket). Stuff each chicken breast with a slice of brie and then the apple mixture.
Season the outside of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
In an ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil on medium high. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken breasts on both sides, being careful when turning so the filling doesn’t escape.
Once the chicken is browned, add the apple cider, place in a preheated oven and cook until done, about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven. Place the chicken on a platter. Heat the remaining sauce from the chicken and apple cider, bring it to a lively simmer. Add a splash of brandy or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Taste for seasoning. Add a bit more apple cider as needed.
Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.
Karista Bennett is a local chef/owner at Karista’s Kitchen and a culinary instructor at PCC Natural Markets. See more recipes at www.karistaskitchen.com.