Apples, and pumpkin, and fall spaces galore… These are a few of my favorite things… sorry not sorry if I totally just got that sound of music song in your head. These things tend to happen when you hang around me and I’m spitting out movie quotes and songs like it’s my job 24/7. But this one-pan apple and cinnamon chicken with bacon? Totally worth it. I promise.
I’ll couple of years ago I was doing the autoimmune protocol and low FODMAP (yes, both at the same time – do not recommend. Zero out of 10) to try and heal some serious gut issues I had going on. Let me tell you, being limited to that many foods was not fun at all. AT ALL. But the one good thing that came from that, aside from the remission of my symptoms, was that those restrictions forced me to become super creative in the kitchen with the limited amount of herbs, spices and ingredients I had to work with. Which is exactly how this recipe was born. Because you guys know me – even if you have to eat with restrictions for health reasons, I am not one to skimp on the flavor. Ain’t nobody trying to eat plain chicken and spinach all the time. NOPE.
That was the impetus for me to learn how to cook (and eventually starting my blog) in the first place – when I was diagnosed with celiac, I had absolutely no idea how to cook anything. In college, I knew how to bake, but only gluten-filled things, and I was pretty much just eating in the dining hall or take out all the time so I didn’t need to learn how to cook. Fast forward to getting celiac diagnosis, living on my own, and having no idea how to cook anything, not even boil eggs or make chicken breast. So basically what I’m saying is, there is hope for everyone in the world – I didn’t even eat vegetables until I went to college, unless you count ranch dressing and carrots. You think I’m kidding? Ask my mom. I was one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. Even my bother, Who for a while there forced my mom to peel the skin off of hotdogs whenever we ate them…still ate more vegetables than me. And now I’m a nutritionist, teaching people how to eat to heal and thrive.
So if I can do it, you definitely can do it too. Especially if you’re just following the instructions in the recipes that I’ve already made for you, ha! If you think cinnamon on chicken sounds weird, I did too. My grandmother used to make this amazing chicken drumsticks recipe with cinnamon and butter, and they would fly off the table like nobody’s business. So I tried to recreate that in a one-pan dish with some additional fall flavors in there. Because I looove them.
Serve this with some fall squash, sweet potatoes, or roasted veggies. So good!!
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs
- 2 slices bacon
- 1-2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger (or use fresh minced)
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- a few sage leaves, chopped
- Sea salt + fresh ground black pepper, to taste*
- optional: chopped dried dates or figs.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet and add the bacon. Cook until crispy on both sides, about 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.
- Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan and set aside to cool. Leave a thin layer of bacon fat on the bottom of the pan (if you have excess, drain it in a separate container).
- Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. After turning the chicken once (so the first cooked side is facing up), add the apples, half your spices, sea salt and pepper. (Save the herbs for the last few minutes of cooking).
- Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes on this side, then flip and add the rest of the spices and herbs (and dried fruit, if using).
- When the chicken has about a minute left, chop your bacon into bits and scatter it over the chicken.
- Serve warm!
**For low FODMAP, leave out the apples.