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This Skillet Chicken with Apples and Onions combines sweet autumn fruit with aromatic rosemary and savory onions in a light and creamy Dijon sauce. Serve the easy fall dinner with mashed potatoes, biscuits, or noodles and a side of green beans or salad. It’s a restaurant-quality dish that comes together in one skillet!

Overhead image of a cast iron skillet chicken dinner with apples and onions

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast

Apples are one of fall’s greatest gifts! In Virginia, we celebrate this crop with festivals, field trips to the orchard, and plenty of cakes, apple butter, and pies (among other treats). Sometimes, though, it’s nice to mix it up and instead use the fresh fruit in an easy, seasonal dinner recipe…and that’s where this skillet chicken recipe comes in!

Dredging chicken cutlets in flour

This dish was inspired by my favorite Chicken Dijon, with its zesty, creamy sauce, tender sliced onions, and plenty of fresh herbs. Since apples pair so beautifully with rosemary and onion, I knew that they would be a delicious addition to the cast iron skillet chicken breasts. Of course, if you don’t like a creamy sauce, you can always omit the heavy cream and just use the chicken broth on its own. Feel free to adapt the recipe to make it your own!

Pan frying chicken cutlets in a cast iron skillet

Ingredients for Chicken with Apples

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a quick skillet chicken recipe. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable box at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken cutlets: purchase thinly-sliced chicken breast for a shortcut, or pound regular chicken breast into thin cutlets.
  • All-purpose flour: to dredge the chicken, which helps it brown and thickens the sauce slightly.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper: to season the chicken and enhance the other flavors in the sauce.
  • Olive oil and butter: for browning the chicken.
  • Onion and garlic: add flavor to the sauce.
  • Apples: look for firm-flesh apples, such as Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn or Pink Lady. These sturdy varieties won’t break down and turn to mush in your sauce.
  • Rosemary: my favorite fall herb to pair with savory poultry.
  • Chicken broth: to thin the sauce. You can also use a dry white wine, if you like.
  • Heavy cream: adds a rich, creamy texture and flavor to the sauce.
  • Dijon mustard: zesty, sharp and tangy — this mustard also helps to emulsify the sauce and bring it all together.
  • Brown sugar or maple syrup: for just a touch of sweetness that pairs nicely with the apples and balances the acidic mustard in the sauce, giving the dish a more complex flavor.
Adding a bowl of sliced apples to a cast iron skillet

How to Cook Chicken in a Skillet with Apples

This entire meal cooks in one pan! I prefer a cast iron skillet, which cooks the meat evenly and gives the chicken a great browned exterior.

  1. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in seasoned flour.
  2. Pan fry the chicken in butter and olive oil in a hot skillet until it’s browned on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate while you make the sauce.
  3. Sauté the onions and apples for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and rosemary; cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth, then simmer for 3-4 minutes so that the liquid reduces by about half.
  6. Whisk in the heavy cream, Dijon and brown sugar. Cook gently over low heat for a few more minutes to let the sauce thicken a bit.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  8. Return the chicken to the skillet, spoon sauce over top, and garnish with fresh herbs.
Pouring heavy cream into a skillet

What to Serve with Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast

Here are some easy sides that go well with the chicken, apples, and cream sauce:

Square overhead shot of chicken with apples in a cast iron pan.

Storage

Store leftover chicken and sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I do not recommend freezing this dish, as the cream sauce may separate and have an undesirable texture when thawed.

Close up side shot of skillet chicken breasts in a pan with apples and creamy sauce

Recipe Variations

  • Cooking just for two? Brown two chicken cutlets instead of four. I recommend making the same amount of sauce, because a little bit of extra sauce is always a good thing!
  • Don’t like a creamy sauce? Omit the heavy cream and just use the chicken broth on its own. The dish will still be flavorful and delicious.
  • For an even richer flavor, replace the chicken broth with a dry white wine.
  • Substitute honey for the brown sugar or maple syrup.
  • Swap out the chicken cutlets and use chicken thighs instead. You’ll probably need to cook the chicken thighs a little bit longer in the skillet. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Swap out the apples and use pears instead.
  • Can’t find fresh rosemary? Substitute with about ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary.
Square side shot of skillet chicken cutlets with a creamy sauce

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations

  • For a shortcut, I like to purchase thinly-sliced chicken breast at the store. Alternatively, you can make chicken cutlets at home by slicing two large chicken breasts in half horizontally and then pounding flat to an even thickness.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when browning the chicken. Instead, work in batches (cooking two cutlets at a time) so that the chicken can develop a nice sear on the outside. Otherwise you risk steaming the chicken, missing out on that great color, flavor and texture.
  • The total cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken. I always recommend using a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your chicken. It’s done perfectly when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • I prefer firm-flesh apples in this recipe because they hold up to the cooking process (rather than turning to mush). Good varieties include Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady or Braeburn.
  • Use fresh herbs (rather than dried herbs) for the best flavor.
Close overhead shot of Skillet Chicken breast with apples

More Chicken Skillet Recipes to Try

Overhead image of a cast iron skillet chicken dinner with apples and onions

Skillet Chicken with Apples and Onions

4.82 from 11 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 502 kcal
This Skillet Chicken with Apples and Onions combines sweet autumn fruit with aromatic rosemary and savory onions in a light and creamy Dijon sauce.

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (about 6 ounces each)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ of a sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium apples, sliced (I like a firm-flesh apple such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, or Braeburn)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ – ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or sub with maple syrup)

Instructions

  • Pat chicken dry and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken cutlet in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess flour.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in butter.
  • When the butter is foamy, add the chicken cutlets to the pan. Cook until the chicken is browned on both sides and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° F, about 3-4 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan, so brown the chicken in batches if necessary.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside while you make the sauce.
  • Add the sliced onion and apples to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet; use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, so that the liquid reduces by about half.
  • Reduce heat to low, gradually whisk in the cream, Dijon and brown sugar. start with about ¼ cup of cream, and then slowly add more, if desired. Cook for a few more minutes to let the sauce thicken (do not boil). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Return chicken to the skillet; garnish with additional fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • For a shortcut, I like to purchase thinly-sliced chicken breast (or “chicken cutlets”) at the store. Alternatively, you can make chicken cutlets at home by slicing two large chicken breasts in half horizontally and then pounding flat to an even thickness.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when browning the chicken. Instead, work in batches (cooking two cutlets at a time) so that the chicken can develop a nice sear on the outside. Otherwise you risk steaming the chicken, missing out on that great color, flavor and texture.
  • The total cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken. I always recommend using a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your chicken. It’s done perfectly when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • I prefer firm-flesh apples in this recipe because they hold up to the cooking process (rather than turning to mush). Good varieties include Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady or Braeburn.
  • Use fresh herbs (rather than dried herbs) for the best flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the chicken and sauceCalories: 502kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 39gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 561mgPotassium: 856mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 734IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: boneless skinless chicken breast recipes, cast iron skillet chicken, chicken with apples, skillet chicken recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in September, 2019. It was updated in September, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Family loved it and asked for me to be sure and keep this recipe. None of
    us care for mustard so that was the only thing left out.

        1. Wonderful! Thanks, Shannon. I’m so glad that the family enjoyed it, and I appreciate you coming back here to let me know. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I did it in a cast iron skillet and also roasted some potatoes in the oven and served altogether. I used Gala apples which tasted great. Next time I will use a little less brown sugar because the apples sweeten it it up too but if using a more tart apple like suggested you might want to leave sugar amount as is. I used two large chicken breasts and I did not filet them. They were cooking rather slow in the pan so after searing both sides I transferred to my already hot roasting pan in the oven and eventually filleted them to speed things up. I used foil over the roasting pan to make the potatoes cook a bit faster with everything. This meal was on the table in 30-45 minutes from start to finish and my toddler gobbled it up! I did have fresh rosemary growing outside and the flavor of that is incomparable. I may try this with maple syrup in place of brown sugar at some point. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Awesome! Your meal sounds perfect, Sarah! I totally agree — nothing is better than fresh rosemary. I swear, I create recipes just so that I can use that ingredient. 🙂 Thanks for all of your great notes, too!

  3. 5 stars
    Had a ton of apples and some chicken Breasts and your recipe sounded great. I substituted dark honey for the brown sugar . Rave reviews. Thank you.

  4. I have allot of seedless grapes i would like to add to recipe.what do you think of that and when would I add them to chicken?

    1. Hi, Mary! That sounds great. I would add them to the skillet at the same time that you add the apples. Give them plenty of time to break down and get nice and soft and juicy. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Was this recipe changed or updated? I swear I made it a week ago, and the recipe didn’t specify dredging the chicken, or the use of heavy cream. The one I recall cooked the chicken in the skillet first, set it aside and then added the onions and rosemary to the skillet to cook, then added in the apples, brown sugar, mustard, and ACV to make the sauce. My entire family loved the version I made and would love to have that recipe for reference (If I am not mistaken that this has changed, if it has not and I misread, I do apologize!)

    1. No, you’re right Olivia! I updated the recipe slightly last week, making it even better (in my opinion). 🙂 Here’s the older version, which is just slightly different — using thinner chicken cutlets for quicker, even cooking, dredging the chicken for better browning, and adding optional heavy cream at the end are the biggest changes. Glad your family enjoyed the original, too!

      4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs. total)
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      1 tablespoon butter
      ½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
      1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
      1/3 cup brown sugar
      2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
      2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
      ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
      3 medium apples, sliced (I like a firm-flesh apple such as Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, or Braeburn)
      ¼ teaspoon pepper

      Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper (to taste). Once the skillet is hot, add chicken to the pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Do not disturb the chicken until it is seared on the first side. Flip the chicken breast over and brown on the other side (about 6-10 more minutes). The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.

      Do not clean out the skillet, but melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onion and rosemary in butter; cooking for 1 minute or until lightly golden, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the skillet as you stir. Add brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and apples; cook (stirring regularly) for 12 minutes or until apples are softened.

      Return chicken to the skillet and heat just until warm, spooning sauce over the meat.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was lovely. I just looked at your comments and I think I’ll change it a bit next time. I’ll do what you suggested for 2 and I’ll use wine and leave out the cream. I love cream but sometimes it upsets my stomach.
    I found it a light and refreshing meal.
    When I found this recipe I was just after a dish to use up an excess of apples, but I’ll definitely be making this one again.

  7. 5 stars
    OMG AMAZING!! I never leave reviews and I’ve made hundreds of online recipes. My whole family loved it and even my picky son requested that I make it again. Omg!!!