Monday, April 2, 2012

Chicken with Apples and Depressed Cream Sauce

I am always learning new things about ingredients in my quest to lighten foods. Today, I'm sharing with you one such experiment gone somewhat awry. While the chicken with apples and cream sauce tasted okay, my cream sauce change-out resulted in a less-than-dreamy sauce appearance and texture.

Chicken with apples and cream sauce

    4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    3/4 teaspoon salt (I skipped this)
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I skipped this as well)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2/3 cup apple cider
    3 cups thinly sliced peeled Braeburn apple
    3/4 cup half-and-half

1. Heat stove to medium-high, cook chicken 7-8 minutes a side or until done. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
2. Add cider to pan, scrape to loosen chicken scraps. Reduce heat and cook until reduced to 1/3 cup.
3. Add sliced apple and half-and-half, simmer until sauce thickens and apples are tender.
4. Assemble and serve.

Seems easy enough, right? Well, when I was picking up ingredients at the store, I noticed a container of fat free half & half next to the full-fat half & half and thought (foolishly!) I'd give it a shot. I'm not sure if I even stopped to think--however briefly--about the conceptual horror of fat free half & half at the time. Obviously I have by this point . . .

All went well with the recipe until, predictably, I added the so-called half & half. The sauce immediately separated and never came back together, giving us a weirdly grainy, clumpy, apple-and-debateably cream-sauce. Lesson learned: regardless of calories, I'm doing the good old full-fat half and half from now on!

One quarter of this recipe should come in at around 285 calories, assuming you don't make my error. Bear in mind that the below ratings are based on my disaster, and might change if I ever made this again with the correct ingredients.

Ease: 8
Taste: 6.5
Comfort: 6

Chicken with apples and cream sauce

Warm, delicious chicken . . . so far, so good.

Chicken with apples and cream sauce

Check out this nasty grainy sauce -- yuck!

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