Creamy Spiced Apple Pecan Chicken + Riced Cauliflower

 

My friend Bekah has given me so many things over the 2+ years I've known her. The best thing being her friendship. We were in a book study together in 2014, the Fall that I was in a new city, learning a new job, living with my parents, and missing Matthew who was on the other side of the country. Bekah leaned over one night, seeing that I was in obvious distress, and said, "Why don't you come talk to me". (She's a women's minister here in Knox) The rest is history! She is funny, wise, loyal, kind, and loves Jesus. Also, she's a really great cook. Which leads me to Creamy Spiced Apple Pecan Chicken, maybe the 2nd best thing Bekah has given me!

Yes, it's an excessively long title, but each of those ingredients is a sample of just how tasty this dish is! Bekah made it for the women in our Bible study then I had to make it "for Matthew" (truthfully, I just needed an excuse to eat it again). I cannot tell you how spectacular this dish is.

There were lots of "firsts" here for me. For instance, I didn't even know riced cauliflower was a thing, but it's so great!! Also, I had never even heard of the spice cardamom before whipping this up, but now I want to put it on everything! And who knew that coconut milk didn't actually taste like a coconut once cooked?
It's just an all around A+. Trust me.

Yes, it's creamy and YES it's dairy free!  The solution? That coconut milk I mentioned. I was hesitant, and even thought about using soy milk, but the only way to ensure this meal had a creamy element to it was by branching out and using the coconut milk. I texted Bekah as I put the can of coconut milk in my cart, "Go big or go home." Don't be afraid of the coconut milk! It really makes the dish! You can also make this recipe grain free by substituting arrowroot starch where I use flour. Bekah made it with arrowroot the first time I had it and it tasted no different than flour. Either ingredient will do the job of thickening up the sauce. So stop reading and start cooking!

 Not pictured: chicken

Not pictured: chicken

 Thinly sliced chicken breasts waiting to be spiced!

Thinly sliced chicken breasts waiting to be spiced!

 This combo right here would taste good all on its own.

This combo right here would taste good all on its own.

 There's that creamy goodness!

There's that creamy goodness!

  Like actual rice, riced cauliflower ends up tasting like whatever you're eating it with.

 Like actual rice, riced cauliflower ends up tasting like whatever you're eating it with.

 Takes less than 10 minutes to prepare!

Takes less than 10 minutes to prepare!

 Voila! 

Voila! 

  • 4 Chicken Breasts (I used the thinly sliced)
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 large Apples, peeled and diced (I used Gala's)
  • 1 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1 can Coconut Milk (can be found in the Asian aisle of your grocery store)
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour (or arrowroot starch for grain free)
  • 1 tbsp Water
  1. Bring a large skillet to medium heat on your stove-top.
  2. Chop pecans, dice apples, and dice your garlic then set aside.
  3. Mix your cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a bowl then rub the combination into both sides on each chicken breast.
  4. Add 2 tbsp of your EVOO to your skillet once it's hot then place the chicken breasts in the skillet, searing them for 2-3 minutes on each side. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked here, just mostly cooked. Now remove the chicken and cover with foil.
  5. Add the last tbsp of olive oil to the skillet then include  the apple/pecan/garlic mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes while scraping the bottom of the skillet in order to coat the apples and pecans in the spices. 
  6. When the apples have softened, add the can of coconut milk and continue scraping the bottom of the pan to really incorporate the spices.
  7. Add chicken back to the skillet.
  8. In a separate bowl combine your flour and water. Mix until smooth then add to the skillet.
  9. Cover the dish with a lid and let cook another 3-5 minutes until creamy and the chicken is cooked. 
  10. At this point, place your riced cauliflower in a different large pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. This should ensure that both the main dish and the side will be ready at the same time.
  11. When the chicken is cooked through, serve it up hot and devour!

This meal was admittedly a little out of my comfort zone. Had I not enjoyed it at Bekah's house first, I probably would've shied away from a meal that included coconut milk and cauliflower. I'm so glad I didn't! This dish is decadent, flavorful, and 100% satisfying. It would be a great one to make when having company over for the holidays! If you make it, let me know what you think!

  I got to enjoy the leftovers the next day. Tasted even better!

 I got to enjoy the leftovers the next day. Tasted even better!