Sometimes I have no idea what I'm going to make for dinner but I'll take a couple of chicken breasts out of the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator all day while I figure it out - which is exactly what happened the other night when this recipe was born. We had some leftover apple juice (something I almost never buy) for a recipe that I made on Sunday so I figured I should use the rest of it. I pounded the chicken thinly to make a paillard (which tenderizes it without having to marinade and also cooks really well and evenly - this is the real way to do it but I skip a few steps) and then made a quick glaze by reducing the apple juice along with some grainy dijon mustard and finished it off with a pat of butter (if you're watching your calories, you can omit the butter and just reduce the sauce even further but it won't be as rich - I only did a tiny bit of butter and it was still great!)
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
2 Tablespoons dijon or spicy deli mustard
1 - 2 Tablespoons butter
Place chicken breasts on a sheet of wax paper and place another sheet of wax paper on top. Pound with a mallet (I just use my rolling pin) until the chicken is evenly about 1/2" thick all over. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken paillards to the skillet and cook until well browned on one side (about 3 - 4 minutes). Turn over and cook another 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil (don't worry about them being completely cooked at this point - you'll add them back to the glaze to finish cooking).
Pour apple juice (or cider) into the skillet along with accumulated juices and bring to a simmer/low boil until mixture thickens and the reduces (about 3 minutes). Stir in mustard and let reduce and thicken another couple of minutes until desired consistency. Add butter (if using) and stir until it forms a rich glaze. Return chicken to pan and let cook another couple of minutes until the juices run clear. Adjust seasoning to taste. Transfer chicken to serving platter and pour glaze from pan over them. If I had some fresh dill or parsley, I would have sprinkled some chopped on top.
P.S. I served these with roasted Brussels sprouts and it was delicious!