This is a classic french dish that features sauteed chicken breasts, apples, and onions in a lovely cream sauce. We have the famous chef Emeril to thank for this recipe, and I have been treating my family, guests, and catering customers with this dish for almost 20 years! Since my hubby LOVES bacon almost more than life itself, I double the bacon so he can nibble on it while I prepare dinner. I also double the sauce recipe since it's divine and at my house, we are all about the sauce.
Note: If you don’t have Calvados (Calvados is a brandy made from apples or sometimes pears), you can substitute brandy or cognac.
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 3/4-inch dice
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1⁄2 cup calvados
1 cup apple cider
1 1⁄2 cups thinly sliced red apples
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Fresh chopped chives for garnish (optional)
In a large, heavy saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.
Season the chicken on both sides with Essence. Dredge in the flour to coat lightly, shaking to remove any excess.
Add the chicken to the fat in the pan and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides and nearly cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
Remove and cover to keep warm.
Add the onions and cook to the now-empty pan, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Add the Calvados and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan.
Simmer until reduced by half then add the cider, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
Add the apples and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.
Add the cream and simmer until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, several pieces at a time, and cook, stirring, until each is incorporated.
Stir in the thyme and return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook until the chicken is heated through and cooked all the way, turning, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and divide the chicken and sauce among 4 plates. Garnish each serving with the bacon and fresh chives and serve.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.