Easy, flavor packed, Skillet Chicken with Apples, Pancetta, and Pecans is a simple one pan dinner that will soon be on repeat!! This sweet, salty, tangy, and texture packed dinner is a sure winner in the fall months or anytime of year. Paleo and Whole30 approved!
Another October weekday, and another fall inspired easy dinner! It seems the older I get, the more I want to savor everything that is good about a particular season. Apple picking and pumpkin patch visits? Already done those twice. Pumpkin spice smelling candle? Been burning since September 1st. Fires in the fire place? You bet. Soups and chili for dinner? Just about every night!
So it came as no surprise when I made a fall flavored dinner the other night with chicken as the star. My immediate thought is, “how can I make this another fall inspired dish?” Many of you love my Creamy Spiced Apple Pecan Chicken, and I wanted something similar except with a more salty flavor without the spices.
And here it is: Skillet Chicken with Apples, Pancetta, and Pecans. This decadent fall dish also has bold flavors from some sautéed leeks, crumbled salty pancetta, and cooked honeycrisp apples. So good you guys!
How to Make Skillet Chicken with Apples, Pancetta, and Pecans
As I mentioned above, 1 pan. Even with one pan, we still have a few different steps of sautéing the ingredients separately. But it all still comes together in about 30 minutes!
First up we saute the apple slices so they are golden and softened:
Next, we saute the pancetta for just a few minutes until it’s crispy. Reserving some of the fat from the pancetta, we move onto sautéing the chicken until golden. About halfway through we toss in the leeks and garlic!
We’ll toss everything back into the skillet, along with some chicken broth in order to get a nice tasty sauce to pour on top. Top with some toasted pecans. I served over an acorn squash mash and some potatoes for my family. This was perfect!
- Pancetta: if pancetta is not your thing, or you can’t find any, feel free to swap out with some crumbled bacon! I promise this addition of salty pork works so well with the apples
- Leeks: Leeks have a slightly garlic flavor and a more bold flavor profile then traditional onions, and I LOVE them in fall dishes! You can also substitute with a diced yellow onion.
- Honey Crisp Apples: Are golden sweet and amazing in this dinner. Use Pink Lady if you want something different.
- Chicken broth: I must admit, if I had a good cooking white wine when I made this recipe, I would have used that instead! You can swap out the chicken broth with a good cooking white wine like an oaky chardonnay. And then have a glass or two with this dish…… If keeping this dish Whole30 approved, you’ll need to stick with the chicken broth.
- Creamy base: I did not add this to the recipe, but if creamy is your jam, 3 tbsp of half and half or heavy cream would taste delicious!
Garnish and top with fresh thyme; sage would also be delicious! And if you’re feeling like a nice salad would pair well with this dinner, you are right. This Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette makes a delicious dressing that pairs so well with this dinner!
Skillet Chicken with Apples, Pancetta, and Pecans
- 4 chicken breast cutlets*
- salt + pepper
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 large honeycrisp apple Halved and then sliced into thin wedges
- 1 cup pancetta
- 2/3 cup diced leeks
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth**
- 2/3 cup toasted pecans chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken breast and set aside.
Once skillet is hot, add the oil. Toss in the apples and cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, and remove once apples are soft and lightly browned. Set aside, keep the skillet hot.
Now toss in the pancetta. Cook until crispy, another 3-4 minutes. Set aside with the apples. Keep approximately 2 tablespoons of the pancetta fat in the pan, and return the skillet to the heat.
Now cook the chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side. After 3 minutes, toss in the leeks and garlic around the chicken. Let them saute while the chicken is cooking, gently stirring to cook evenly.
Pour in the chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan to flavor the broth with any brown bits from the leeks, garlic, and chicken. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Place apples and pancetta back to the pan. Cover the dish and cook another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, the sauce thickens, and the remaining ingredients heat up with the chicken.
To serve, salt and pepper to taste. Top with toasted pecans and fresh thyme. Be sure to spoon additional sauce on top of the chicken.
*You can use regular chicken breast and pound them thinner to about a 1/2 inch thick.
**A dry white wine can be used in place of the chicken broth