Tut, tut it looks like
After a few short weeks of ‘chilly’ (chilly according to Texas standards) weather, a few days of rain and overcast skies, and even snow not too far from where I live; today is a bright, sunshiny day!
Oh and expected to be a high of 70 degrees!
I have always loved ‘spring’ here in Texas. Mild days, cooler nights, sunny days! Oh and the wild flowers! I seriously wished I lived somewhere, where the weather was like this 24/7! San Diego?!?
But I know most of the rest of you are still in the depths of bitter cold and the brutal winter. And the reality is, we might still have a few ‘chilly’ days here before the official start of spring (but I won’t let that burst my bubble today!).
Because, the rest of you are buried deep in snow and hiding out in your house. And because it is still technically winter (even with 70 degree temps in Texas), I am bringing you a comforting winter meal.
Applesauce and chicken sounds like it might be an odd pairing, but it actually works! This is mildly sweet (for all of you that don’t like sweetened savory foods), and has a nice hit of spices. It is totally comforting and completely kid friendly!
This is Chunky Applesauce ‘Chicken’ because I made this one day when it WAS cold outside and I didn’t want to leave home to go to the grocery store, so I use what I had on hand. However, since apples/applesauce are popular toppings for pork chops, I think pork chops or a pork loin would work as a wonderful substitute for the chicken in this recipe, and actually something I will try soon because it sounds so good! To substitute pork in this recipe please see my notes below.
Serving suggestion: For a complete meal, I served this apple chicken over couscous with my Green Bean Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts and Feta on the side. Absolute delish!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
1 cup apple juice
½ cup applesauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon all spice or ground cloves
¼ cup diced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large Granny Smith, Cameo or Johnny Gold apple, chopped
Season chicken with salt and black pepper. Place chicken in crock-pot.
In a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients, except apples. Pour applesauce mixture over chicken in crock-pot.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-7 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in apples during the last 1 to 1 ½ hours of cooking.
Serve over rice or couscous, if desired, with cooking liquid and apple mixture.
*Note: Pork chops (bone-less or bone-in) or a 2-3 pound pork loin would work as a wonderful substitute for the chicken in this recipe.