When my husband and I first moved in together, I asked him what his favorite staples were to have in the fridge. He told me a “lovely” story about how he and his buddies used to buy big jars of applesauce from Aldi. They’d get them ice-cold by placing them in the back of the fridge. A few days later, they would drink them like juice. Ummm, yuck? Or ummm, yum? I couldn’t decide. It was genius but so “frat-boy” in nature.
I decided to create something that would use the applesauce in an actual meal instead of a juice substitute. He loved it, I did too and I made it a few more times (once in the slow cooker) but I hadn’t made it again. Don’t remember why. Oh yeah, we had a wedding and then a kid.
A few weeks ago, I was reading a magazine and I saw a recipe similar to the applesauce chicken recipe I had created for my love! I was so happy to be reminded about that meal and immediately thought of the ingredients of my recipe. Its similar to the magazine version but you know me, it is definitely different.
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs if you are adventurous)
One small onion, sliced thin
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons apple cider or white vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cinnamon (trust me…you need this)
pinch of red pepper flakes(optional)
Pour a bit of oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-low heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the chicken and stir until it bubbles a bit. Add chicken pieces and cook on one side for 5 minutes and then turn over. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more or until the center is no longer pink but yummy, juicy and delicious….oh no, I’m drooling again.
Applesauce chicken is wonderful on top of rice or buttered noodles but I tend to just serve it with a great veggie and let the chicken stand out on its own.
Slow cooker instructions: Combine all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Turn on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. I personally like applesauce chicken better from the slow cooker, but Hubby loves the slight browning of the chicken from the sautéed version. If you would like a little color on the chicken, you can sear it in a pan before you put it in the slow cooker.