Thanksgiving is right around the corner so I wanted to find a recipe that not only speaks tradition, but is quick to fix and nutritious. I think I hit the nail on the head. Chicken is the perfect alternative to turkey. Both are moist white meats with similar taste profiles, they each go equally well with the flavors most familiar to all of us at Thanksgiving and both are easy to prepare. But one thing chicken has going for it that turkey does not is speed of cooking. This recipe can be prepared in about an hour while turkey, even a simple roasted turkey breast, takes much longer. I know Thanksgiving meal prep isn’t always about speed, but if you want to simplify the process, you will appreciate this recipe.
Here’s a win-win. We’re all trying to cut down on bread and empty carbs, right? Well this cranberry-apple stuffing is amazing. It’s everything you would pile into a traditional stuffing recipe without the bread. Apples, dried cranberries, pecans, celery, onion, sage, rosemary, poultry seasoning. Doesn’t that sound delicious? I had one taste tester tell me that she was so excited to try this recipe again because she could enjoy her favorite stuffing flavors without all of the bread. That’s a winner!
Chicken stock is combined with apple cider vinegar and then reduced to produce a simple sauce. Compared to traditional gravy you’re saving tons of calories without giving up too much flavor. But you’re not done. Drizzle a delicious cherry balsamic glaze over the top for an unforgettable holiday experience. I like Ortalli Balsamic Glaze with Cherry. Most grocery stores are carrying the glazes (right next to the vinegars). So tasty! Again, this is a time-saver as well as a good health move. It’s flavorful without being too heavy.
Whether you decide to switch to chicken this year or keep serving your traditional turkey, try stuffing with this recipe and then topping with the sauce and glaze. Your meat will be so moist and flavorful. It just might become a new family favorite!
One Year Ago: Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- Cranberry-Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Cherry Balsamic Glaze
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 small tart apple, peeled and diced (I use Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 4 to 6 ounces each
- 1/4 cup apple cider or balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup cherry balsamic glaze (I use Ortalli Balsamic Glaze with Cherry)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the diced apple until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cranberries, pecans, shallots, celery, garlic, rosemary, sage, poultry seasoning and salt; cook and stir for another 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
- Place each chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Place 1/4 of the apple mixture on the center of each chicken breast. Roll up and secure with toothpicks to close.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Cook each side of the chicken rolls until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and place in a large baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is done and no longer pink.
- In the meantime, combine the vinegar and chicken stock in the same skillet and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer until it is reduced by about a third. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Remove toothpicks. Using a sharp knife slice each chicken breast crosswise and arrange on serving platter. Spoon the sauce over top. Drizzle cherry balsamic glaze over top. Garnish with fresh rosemary and/or sage leaves.
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