Pairing meat with fruit is often considered typical of a fall or wintertime dish. Think of the classic seasonal presentation of Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce. Pork chops and apples are another essential fall recipe that comes to mind. But the reality is, the partnership of meat and fruit works year round. Stone fruits like apricots, cherries, and plums lend the best of themselves to chicken, beef, and pork during the summer and early fall. Berries are popular elements of sauces for roast lamb. And where would chicken salad be without red grapes?
Apples are the go-to fruit here with chicken sausage and colorful rainbow Swiss chard. From a scientific standpoint, apples add acid to the dish, helping tenderize the meat by breaking down fibers and lending apple flavor to the whole.
If you can find chicken apple sausage in your local grocery store, grab it. If not, substitute another chicken sausage to keep the light flavor profile this recipe features.
Chicken Sausage with Swiss Chard and Apples Recipe
- 8 chicken apple sausages, like Aidells, sliced into 1/2″ discs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, thick middle stalk removed and leaves chopped
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups diced tart apples, like Fuji or Macintosh, cored, peeled, and diced
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from stems
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 12 ounces dry hard cider
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
Cook the recipe:
Place butter and oil in large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add sausage discs, cooking until they begin to crisp on the edges and show browned spots. Remove sausage to clean bowl.
Toss onions and apples into the skillet and sauté, stirring frequently and adding butter if needed, until onion is tender and golden brown.
Pour cider into skillet and raise heat to medium high to bring liquid to boiling. Scrape up browned bits and stir to incorporate into the liquid. Toss in thyme leaves and mustard, stirring to combine.
Return sausage to skillet along with any collected juices. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add half-and-half, whisking to thicken sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with creamy mashed potatoes.