Chicken with Pears

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Pears join cranberries in this elegant entrée. Aromatic and fluffy, quickly prepared basmati rice is the ideal accompaniment.

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Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 oz. each)
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 pears (at room temperature) peeled if desired, cored and cut into 1/4-in. wedges
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 C. apple juice
  • 1/4 C. dried cranberries (see Tip)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • Toasted sliced almonds, chopped pecans or chopped walnuts for garnish

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Directions

Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag; flatten them to a ½-inch uniform thickness. Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl. Flour the chicken by lightly pressing both sides of each chicken breast into the flour mixture. Heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer; cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly browned but not cooked through. With tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in the sauté pan. Add the pears, scallions, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the pears are slightly tender. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the remaining ingredients and return the chicken to the skillet. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through at the thickest points. Taste and adjust the seasoning. For each serving, place a chicken breast on a bed of rice or couscous; top with the pears, cranberries, and sauce.

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