Dress up chicken with a recipe that combines U.S. grown apples with curry, a traditional Indian/Asian spice mixture. Curry powder is actually a blend and can include mixtures of up to 20 different herbs and spices. Common curry powder ingredients include cardamom, chiles, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, poppy seeds, saffron and turmeric.

Curry became popular in the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s with a significant increase in the number of Indian restaurants throughout the U.S., and it has become a common seasoning for American fare.

Most commonly associated with Indian cuisine, Indian chefs usually grind their mixtures daily, making them more intense and pungent than the mixes sold in stores. In the U.S., curry powder generally comes in standard and madras or hot versions. Nonetheless, the store-bought type packs plenty of punch and will keep for up to two months if stored in an airtight container.

The heat generated by the curry and cinnamon is tempered by the golden delicious apples. Most of this delectable fruit comes from Washington state and is readily available from September through November with the cold storage product available the remainder of the year. Good quality golden apples will be firm and smooth and range in color from pale green to creamy yellow. Less mature apples will be light green and somewhat more tart. Some goldens will have a splash of pink or blush, which is the result of sunny days and cool nights.

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The more mature or golden the apples are, the better they work for this recipe since their natural sweetness acts as the perfect balance to the curry. Avoid goldens - or any apple - that wrinkles when you rub your thumb across the skin. This is an indication that they have been in cold storage for too long or they have not been kept consistently cool. In addition, avoid goldens with "russeting," a bronze-colored, rough scab-like like condition usually found close to the stem.

Apples have a rich history in myths and legends. They even have a romantic side. In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage and catching it was acceptance. The U.S. folk hero Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, cultivated apple orchards across the land.

This traditional combination of sweet apples and hot curry is a great way to create a new chicken dish that is sure to be a popular addition to your menu.

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Spiced Chicken with Apples

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 large golden delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In wide skillet over medium heat, stir curry until slightly darker in color. Add cinnamon sticks, and cook about 3 to 4 minutes. Add apple, onion, lemon juice, chicken broth and 1/2 cup of apple juice. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add chicken thighs to pan, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is no longer pink, about 1 hour. Cut to test. Remove chicken from pan, arrange on warm platter and keep warm.
  3. Blend flour and remaining 1/2 cup apple juice. Gradually add to sauce pan, stirring. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. The sauce also tastes wonderful poured over baked potato or brown or wild rice.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
200 calories
4.5 g total fat
1 g saturated fat
16 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein
2 g dietary fiber
160 mg sodium


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