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Gingersnap Chicken with Apple Compote

1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breast
10-12 gingersnap cookies
1 medium shallot, sliced
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
6 dried figs, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/3 c. dried raisins
1/4 c. sliced roasted almonds
Oil and butter for saute
Apple cider for deglazing.

Process cookies to a fine crumb in food processor; place on large plate. Pat dry chicken pieces and press crumbs to both sides. Heat oil in large saute pan, add shallot and cook until translucent and slightly browned, remove to small bowl. Heat a little more oil and add chicken, cooking until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to plate. Add 2 T. butter and allow to brown, then add apples and cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Stir, add in figs, raisins, almonds and shallots and mix to combine. Pour in about 1/4 c. apple cider and deglaze the pan. When fully reduced, place chicken on top of compote, cover and allow to cook until chicken is cooked through; about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve chicken topped with compote.

Recipe Notes: For a tangier taste, cider vinegar can be used to deglaze. For the apples, use something that will stand up to cooking for best results. Mix up the dried fruit to taste; I think currants would be great in this, or possibly chopped dried apricots too.

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Last night I made this recipe from the December issue of Food and Wine. I am always on the lookout for new ways to cook pork as it’s one of our favorite meats to eat, and depending on what cut you get, can beĀ  plenty cheap. I bought bone-in chops for this even though the recipe uses pork medallions.

You will need 1/4 c. finely ground gingersnaps, 2 T. AP flour, 1# pork tenderloin cut to medallions and pounded to 1″ thickness, or (like I used) three bone-in rib chops, 2 T. unsalted butter,1 T. extra virgin olive oil, 1 medium shallot, minced, 1/4 c. apple brandy (i did not use), 1 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c. apple cider, 1 T. cider vinegar and 2 T. chopped chives (again, did not use).

On a sheet of waxed paper, combine half the gingersnap crumbs and the flour; season the meat with salt and pepper and dredge in the crumbs. Melt the 1 T. of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet, and when hot add all the pork and cook over moderate to high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides and nearly cooked through, about 6 minutes. (i cooked the bone-in chops just a bit longer, probably closer to 10). Transfer pork to a plate. Add the shallot to the pan and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 2 minutes. If using the brandy, add it now and simmer it until it is reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and apple cider and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, maybe 5-8 minutes. Add the vinegar, the remaining gingersnap crumbs and the last tablespoon of butter and cook, stirring, until thickened. Return pork to skillet and heat through. Serve with sauce and chives for garnish, if using.

The pork chops searing in the skillet

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The pork chops in the gingersnap sauce

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The finished product, served with my favorite Poblano Rice with Vegetables

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The sauce on this was sweet and tangy from the vinegar and really quite good. It got a bit thicker than I imagined it was supposed to as I let the chops cook for a bit in the sauce to insure they were fully cooked through. Once the remaining cookie crumbs go into the liquid and it thickens, it’s very smooth, but the texture on our finished chops was somewhat thick. I would certainly make it again though as we all enjoyed it a lot. Mike’s not a big ‘bone-in’ guy so I would do it again using a boneless cut. Definitely a winner!

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