- 8 slices smoked bacon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 Liberty, Braeburn or other crisp apples, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, halved and sliced
- 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
- 7-8 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup apple brandy
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Arrange the bacon on a broiler pan and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate
Add the butter to the skillet to melt. Add the apples, onion, thyme and sage. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until the apples are crisp-tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir in about 1/2 cup chicken stock, the apple cider and the apple brandy. Add the chicken, coat with the sauce, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium size saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups stock and the milk to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook, whisking constantly, until thick, 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the cheese until melted. Serve on rimmed plates and top with the chicken, apples, onion and criss-crossed slices of bacon.