Chicken breast ‘al cartoccio’ with apple, honey and curcuma

A mustard and honey sauce is a French classic, this apple, honey and Curcuma combination gives the chicken an oriental twist, combined with sauteed leeks and cherry tomatoes makes a great dinner dish, very light and carb free. Simple to make, the prep time is no more than 15 minutes and 30 minutes of cooking time.

For a couple you will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, not skinned!
  • 1 leek
  • 6-7 cherry tomatoes
  • salt, pepper, olive oil
  • 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper
  • 1 apple, 1/2 tsp Curcuma powder, 1 tbsp honey, 2tbsp olive oil (for the glaze)

Prepare the apples for the glaze first. You will need 1 apple for two servings. Grate the peeled and cored apple, set aside with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent oxidation and browning. You could also use a food processor for convenience.

Slice the leeks and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Use the white part (bottom) of the leeks and an inch of the top – green bit. Coat a pan with olive oil and heat on the burner. Make sure the oil is very hot before putting in the leeks and tomatoes. Saute the veggies for 2-3 minutes, not more, at the end add salt and pepper. Remove from the pan onto two sheets of baking paper. The leeks and cherry tomatoes should be firm, crunchy and just slightly moist.

Recoat the pan with oil and place the two chicken breasts, skin down. Let the skin brown on medium to high heat for 6-7 minutes. Salt the upper part of the chicken breasts. When the skin is nicely browned and crispy and the breasts are halfway done, remove them from the pan onto the leeks and cherry tomatoes, skin side up.

Add some water or preferably chicken stock to the pan to deglaze the caramelized bits of the chicken, add the previously prepared grated apples, Curcuma, and honey. Stir around until all the ingredients come together and the glaze thickens just a little bit. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add 2-3 spoons of the prepared glaze over the chicken breasts. The consistency of the sauce should be thick enough to coat the skin and not just flow over the chicken to the bottom.

Close the baking paper into a pouch. Twist the top to firmly seal the pouch. You’ll want the pouch to hold all the moisture in making the chicken extra soft and moist retaining all the goodness and flavors. Put the pouches into a preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 20-30 minutes.

Serve the chicken al cartoccio straight from the oven onto a plate. Bon appetit!

Note: you can, of course, put everything in the pouch and cook in the oven straight away. In that case, you should increase cooking the time to 35-40min in order for the chicken to cook thru. I would advise to sautee the vegetables and brown the chicken skin beforehand, it will give extra flavor to the dish, really worth the extra effort. If you wish to make this recipe even more diet friendly, skinning the chicken breast is also an option, however considering this recipe has no gluten or carb-rich ingredients it is already quite light.