Jump into fall with this quick and easy fall inspired meal! Gluten Free Cinnamon Spice Rubbed Chicken with Maple Cream sauce is a tad bit sweet and a whole lot of savory. There is nothing like the aroma of sage and cinnamon while you cook.
You guys! Step into FALL!
Or so I’m told. Looking at all these fall pictures of food, crafts, scenery, etc. floating all over the internet makes me all giddy inside. Fall is seriously my favorite time of year!
I first learned to love autumn while living in Texas. I just remember the summers being so brutally hot with nasty levels of humidity that offered absolutely NO FAVORS for my hair. Really, my hair looked terrible for the first 17 years of my life. I recall almost crying every morning of high school because the 4 block walk to school in the early morning humidity made my hair go from “okay” to “SOMEBODY HELP ME!!! I’ve got a dead RAT on my head!!!”
Minor exaggeration…but not really.
After the 3-4 months of treacherous summer heat, there would always be that one moment in time (usually around the beginning of October) that the weather would suddenly change. The sun would stop relentlessly beating down, the humidity would take a slight vacation, leaves would begin to change their color, and your armpits didn’t seem to smell quite so bad. The feeling was glorious! And the best part was knowing that this heat would be gone for the next 8 months. Hallelujah!
Then I moved to Utah and fall became a whole new level of glorious. There is close to nothing more beautiful on this earth than fall in Utah. The mountains become mounds of gold glowing in the sun. Afternoon canyon drives become your daily routine just to catch a glimpse of all the colors of the changing leaves. It’s picturesque.
Besides all the beauty that comes with the entrance of fall, can we also give a fist pump, hand raise, “Boo YEAH” to the flavors that accompany fall???!
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, cinnamon, white chocolate, maple, apple, you name it. I LOVE these flavors! I wish it was kosher to bake with them year round. Although, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. So maybe it’s good for our souls to save them only for the arrival of autumn.
Now you know I’m all about baking goodies during the holidays, uh okay EVERYDAY, but these fall flavors are not just for making goodies. Share the love with all the other foods out there!
Take, for example, this Gluten Free Cinnamon Spice Rubbed Chicken with Maple Cream Sauce.
This quick and easy 30 minute meal screams fall like no other.
Let’s break it down here:
You start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts rubbed in a mixture of warm spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. That right there is going to transform your kitchen into an aromatic haven of heavenly smells.
Then you pan fry the chicken just until the outside creates this slightly crispy coating, all while keeping the center tender and juicy. The flavorful outer shell of the chicken is a blend of those warm fall spices, plus some garlic and onion powders for a kick in the savory direction. Oh, and if you really want to talk about a kick in the pants, add some black and cayenne pepper to knock it up in the heat arena.
Wait, did I just say “knock it up”?! Apologies. I need to work on my analogies, it seems.
Now what makes this perfectly cooked chicken even better is the smooth and velvety, sweet and savory maple cinnamon cream sauce you drizzle on top.
I know, I know. Your probably wondering where maple and cinnamon fit into a savory gravy, right?! Well if you’re doubting, you’re WRONG!
I’m telling you, this maple cream sauce is DEE-LISH! It’s got just enough sweetness from the maple syrup to tame some of the heat from the black and cayenne pepper in the rub mixture. It also pairs nicely with the earthiness from the rubbed sage.
But you know what it really goes well with??? A good old oven baked sweet potato!
Ahhhh, the perfect bite: a little sweet potato, a piece of cinnamon spiced chicken, and a drizzle of maple cinnamon cream sauce goodness.
The real trick is portioning out each section of your meal to make sure that your very last bite of potato matches up perfectly with your very last bite of chicken. There’s nothing worse than a little extra sweet potato or a little extra chicken at the end that you have to eat all by themselves. I’m a little OCD like that. I make sure to create perfect little bites all the way to the bitter (in this case, sweet) end. It takes talent I tell you.
So can we all take a moment right here to take a deep breath and embrace the season?! And hopefully the next deep breath you take, you’ll be inhaling the amazing flavors of fall with this yummy cinnamon spiced chicken. You won’t be disappointed…not one bit!
What fall flavors do you enjoy the most?
- 3-4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 (4-6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon rubbed sage
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon pepper*
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
- 1 cup half and half
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Trim fat from chicken breasts and poke 10 times on each side with a fork to allow seasonings in. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together dry seasonings: salt, cinnamon, sage, nutmeg, allspice, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir together to blend evenly. Reserve ½ tablespoon (1½ teaspoons) of rub for the cream sauce.
- Rub remaining seasonings on both sides of chicken breasts.
- Cover bottom of large skillet with cooking oil (I used avocado oil). Heat pan with oil on medium heat. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, lay chicken breasts in an even layer in pan. Reduce heat to slightly below medium. Cook 6-8 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle.
- To make sauce, whisk together in a small saucepan half and half, reserved ½ tablespoon of seasonings, cornstarch, and maple syrup. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat.** Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve chicken and sauce warm.
**If mixture is too thick, add a bit of milk and stir.