I borrowed my neighbor, Debbie’s, Cooking Light magazine to copy some of the recipes. I found a cider-glazed chicken recipe, which looked absolutely delicious in the photograph. Even better, the dish required minimal ingredients and a short preparation time.
The original recipe called for Boil-in-Bag brown rice, but I decided to use regular brown rice, cooking it for about 40 minutes. I also only cooked two pieces of chicken, primarily because I did not realize four people were eating the dinner. However, I did double the sauce because the original recipe did not make enough. Next time I make this dish, I would cook four pieces of chicken and quadruple the sauce.
The tangy flavor of the Dijon mustard and the sweet and spice of the cider in the sauce tasted wonderful over both the chicken and rice. Browning the pecans and incorporating them in the brown rice was a simple way to dress up the taste and presentation of the average side of rice.
This dish provides fall/Thanksgiving flavors minus the calories and fat. Think of it as a healthy twist on turkey (cider chicken) and stuffing (pecan brown rice).
3 cups cooked brown rice
2-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. butter, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup R.W. Knudsen Family Cider & Spice, 100% juice (Can purchase at Henry’s Farmers Market)
1 tsp. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook brown rice according to package directions. Take off burner and set aside.
While rice cooks, melt 1 tsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook about 3-4 minutes on each side or until done. Chicken should be golden brown and somewhat crispy. Remove chicken from pan.
Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until syrupy. Add chicken to pan, turning to coat. Remove from heat; set aside.
Melt remaining butter (about 5 tsp.) in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for 2 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Lower heat to medium; add pecans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add rice and a pinch of salt; toss well to coat.
Serve rice with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.