Honey-Glazed Chicken w/ Quinces & Apples

You’re probably in turkey mode right now and couldn’t care less about my pitiful chicken story but I simply refuse to start posting about Thanksgiving yet. So I’m serving you some chicken today. Doesn’t it look good?

This ain’t ordinary chicken, this is Joe the chicken. Joe the chicken was about to purchase a plumbing business but was wondering if the $250,000 a year business would put him in a tax bracket that … err… sorry! I’m mixing up stories again… I’m suffering from post-electum depression!

Here’s the story, my butcher hired a new worker named Sergio. I called him the other day to ask him to send me a small turkey – until now simple enough, right?… Wrong! Sergio thought chickens were in fact… small turkeys, so instead of my small turkey I got delivered.. you guessed it – a big chicken! err.. Isn’t it the ultimate insult for a chicken to be mistaken for a turkey?

I wasn’t too happy about it but i decided to honor my big chicken anyway by making a delicious Honey-Glazed chicken with Quinces and Apples. This is a straightforward chicken saute where the combination of cider vinegar and honey blends the sauce, glaze the chicken and give the dish a tart-sweet edge that echoes the essence of the quince. Served over fresh pasta… un regal!

As for Sergio, I covered his ass and kept the mistake from his boss although i couldn’t resist to stop by the butcher shop the next day to discretely give him some ‘perspective’ and words of encouragement. I think it went like this:

“Eres mas pendejo que un culo de chango!” (you’re more stupid than a monkey’s ass!)
I thought it meant something like keep up the good work, no really… i did! To which the feisty little bastard answered:

“Vuelves a Francia, cabrón!” (Go back to France, a**hole!)I love these guys!

Honey-Glazed Chicken w/ Quinces & Apples
(makes 4 servings) Recipe adapted from Daniel Boulud

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 large quince, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons XV olive oil
  • one 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 12 cippolini onions, peeled and trimmed
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup good chicken stock

  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the cider vinegar and the quince and boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain the quince well and set aside to cool, pat dry. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add the pieces to the pan. Brown on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and reserve.

  • Pour the excess fat from the pan and add the onions, sugar, cinnamon and rosemary to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and brown the onions evenly, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Return the chicken to the pan along with the quincs, apples and honey. Turn to coat the ingredients with the honey. Cook for another 8 to 10 minutes to caramelize everything. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cider vinegar, stirring and scraping up any bits.

  • Slide the pan into the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to the stovetop again, turn the heat to medium, and add chicken stock, bring to a boil. Stir to blend.

  • Discard the cinnamon and spoon out the chicken, fruit, and sauce and serve over fresh egg noodles. Enjoy!
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  • Mandi

    I will be there in 5 – keep mine warm……………thanks Sergio, if not for your screw up we wouldnt have had this wonderful post………

  • Manggy

    Huh, I’m kind of doubting you… Especially as what you meant to say was so far from “Seguir trabajando bien!” Lol. Well, I’m sorry, but what is so hard to understand about the difference between el pollo and el pavo… Sigh. 😛 The good news is, I LOVE chicken, not turkey, so I am quite enchanted by this dish… It even has a bit of Chinese flair! :)

  • Clumbsy Cookie

    Oh isn’t Sergio just precious?! Maybe he felt sorry for the chickens nor being sold at this time of the year where everybody is ignoring them and buying turkey. Maybe he was a chicken his past life and knows what they feel… And you ended up doing such a delicious meal, so happy end!

  • Stacey Snacks

    Don’t use Sergio for any private events.
    The filet may taste like lamb (or smell like it).
    Nice poulet monsieur.

  • Peter M

    A Turkey imposter…sacre bleu!

    Small turkeys are hard to find and hence…turkey breast is used for smaller functions.

    I think Sergio needs to practice chopping chicken wings…that’ll show him.

  • Mike of Mike’s Table

    lol about the mispurchase. That meal looks delicious, as always. You definitely know your way around a quince.

  • [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    LOL about the “small turkey.” I guess that would cornish hens baby turkeys.

    The chicken recipe looks extremely, extremely delectable though, so it’s hooray for small turkeys!

  • Stop Smoking

    No, that does not look good – it looks spectacular!

  • Cynthia

    You are too funny! I’m coming for some of the chicken.

  • Adam

    Well you gotta do what you gotta do to stay under that $250 mark… hahaha.

    Turkey, chicken, it’s all good my friend, especially with honey and apples. Sergio needs to take a couple butchering lessons though. I wonder if he will mix up lamb and beef :)

  • jesse

    For a pre-turkey teaser dish, this is quite something! Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with for Thanksgiving… *hugs*

  • Nina Timm

    A chicken on steroids that is!!!!! I love the combo of flavors here!!!!

  • Mochachocolata Rita

    Hoho, haha! The d-d-d-d-DIET isn’t really for me, zenman…i’ll see you in 3 weeks and we’ll see who’s consumed higher # of calories. i am sure i’ll need a bigger pair of pants by then. HA!

    loving this chicken dish…i am sorry but i despiseeee the big ol turkey (maybe becos i dunno how to make d bird tasty)


  • Psychgrad

    I love getting to swear at practically complete strangers without there being any offense. Cute story. Reminds me of my first day working in a wine bar. I had to pour a beer and had no idea about tilting the glass. So sue me, I’m not a beer drinker.

    Looks like another great recipe to try! I just made your butternut squash soup the other and just posted about it today. Come check it out if you’re interested.

  • white on rice couple

    OMG, too too funny, hysterical. Reminds me of my Mom back in the early days when we came to the US. She thought turkeys were huge, tasteless American chickens!

    You did an amazing job on the dish, I can just lick it all up now!

  • Dhanggit

    I prefer chicken over turkey so this recipe is for me!! I love the idea of quince and apples, what a great combo! Any tips for peeling quince without destroying my new polished nails hehehe :-)

    btw, I was wondring if Joe’s chicken is better than poulet de Bresse :-)bises

  • dirtykitchensecrets

    Yummy… I’m starved and stuck in bed with the flu! Do you deliver? pleaaaaaaaaaaaase :)

  • Lore

    It’s always important to maintain a good relationship with your butcher, glad to see you’re following this rule à la lettre 😉
    The dish looks delicious and it goes so well with the weather we’re having over here.

  • We Are Never Full

    hilarious! this dish is the makings of the perfect comfort dish. we made something a bit similar (well, not really, but with apples and chicken) and we added some calvados for an extra kick. yours looks better than ours…

  • Colloquial Cook

    Bon, je vais sans doute faire ça un de ces weekends – tu fais la hotline téléphonique en cas de problème? :-)

  • Heather

    Sergio is such a dumbass! I want to see what you did for Thanksgiving now, though. 😛

  • Anonymous

    gros bisous for sergio !!!!!
    i’m sooooo tired of seeing nothing but turkey, fatigant!!!
    as usual, this is stunning!!!
    and delicious!!!
    my bosses asked,”encore le francais/new yorkais ?
    qu’est ce que il est formidable !!!!
    thanks so much !!!!
    for this and so many others!!!!!
    what do you use for photo equipment??
    merci encore,

  • T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    Good thing you didn’t completely expose Sergio …

    But what a way to dress up a culinary misunderstanding – delicious!

  • Rosa’s Yummy Yums

    What a beautiful dish! A scrumptious combo! Wonderful.



  • Kirstin

    I’m loving the quince recipes. It can be hard to find simple, savory ones. Keep em coming!

  • foodhuntress79

    I am Giving Thanks for Zen Chef and tasty chicken recipes

  • TavoLini

    hahahahahaha–great story! I dig the mini turkey :)

  • Manger La Ville

    Sounds incredible. I am having trouble finding quince, any suggestions? Great post, really funny.

  • Nicole

    So gorgeous especially with those onions. What a way to turn ordinary chicken into something special!

  • Proud Italian Cook

    You make me want to try quinces again! Beautiful dish and love the cipolini’s!!

  • Chicopea

    This sergio is out of control! Lets flick him in the forehead next time. In anycase, turkey is overrated you were probably better off with the chicken! Nice save Zen. Hope your T-day was a good one :)

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    Maybe your small turkey was one of the ones receiving a presidential pardon? By having that chicken, you saved a turkey’s life.

    This is a great recipe. As I’m always on the lookout for new and different chicken recipes (as it’s one of the few meats Sir Pickypants and I will both eat), this one looks like a winner for the near future.

  • Nazarina A

    Exquisite pictures and you had me at quince!!! It is so hard to find quince here in Colorado. I used to eat quince a lot in South Africa! The honey glaze is making me salivate!

  • glamah16

    Zen, you do crack me up.

  • Gloria

    Zen Chef look delicious and tasty! Gloria

  • Zen Chef

    Jfoureur.. Thanks!
    Photo equipment is a Nikon D60. Which i still don’t know how to use. I just get lucky once in a while and get a good picture. :-)

  • Zach

    Made this for 36 people last night. Came out great, though difficult to scale up with the pan frying. Actually set off three smoke detectors during the frying and caused 350 people to evacuate the building and the fire department to come… but that’s not the important part. It tasted great. Just smokey stoves. You rock, Zen.