“Smother,” in other contexts, usually doesn't mean good things: a stage mother whispering lines backstage at their frightened child, or a boyfriend calling every ten minutes to make sure you're still by the phone. But smothering a chicken breast with tart apples and Gouda, giving every bite a rich, unforgettable flavor… That's the kind of smothering mother, child, and boyfriend can get behind.
Trim bottoms off Brussels sprouts and halve vertically (quarter if larger than a ping-pong ball).
Quarter apple and remove core. Cut into ¼" slices.
Stem and mince thyme.
Pat chicken breasts dry, and season both sides with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
Cook Brussels Sprouts and Sear Apples
Place Brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet and rub with paprika, 1 tsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Spread into a single layer on one half of baking sheet. Roast until tender, 6 minutes.
Remove from oven. Brussels sprouts will finish cooking in a later step.
While sprouts roast, place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add ½ tsp. olive oil. Working in batches if needed, add apple slices to hot pan in a single layer. Sear apples undisturbed until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
Transfer apples to a plate. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Cook the Chicken
Return pan used to sear apples to medium-high heat and add ½ tsp. olive oil. Add chicken to hot pan and sear undisturbed until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes on one side.
Transfer chicken to other half of baking sheet, seared side up. Shingle cooked apples on chicken and cover apples with Gouda slices.
Roast until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, 5-8 minutes.
Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
While chicken cooks, make sauce.
Make the Sauce
Place apple cider and thyme (reserve a pinch for garnish) in pan used to sear chicken over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is the consistency of light syrup, 30-60 seconds.
Remove from burner and swirl in butter. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Finish the Dish
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, garnishing with reserved thyme. Bon appétit!