What’s for Dinner? Apple Cider Braised Chicken


Apple Cider Braised Chicken

By Melody Tierney

Bone-chilling days call for bone-in chicken. Cooking with the bone in always renders the juiciest and tastiest meat. This dish is perfect for any day, for that matter, when there’s a chill in the air. Slowly braised in an apple cider honey sauce with turnips and apples, this is a lick-your-plate-worthy dish.

For this recipe you can use an assortment of chicken parts, keeping in mind that breasts cook more slowly than thighs. I do like to use all thighs as they are the most flavorful part of the bird.

Serve this with a side of roasted green beans—beans tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted for 10 minutes at 400° or until lightly caramelized.

Leftovers are delicious the next day over mashed potatoes or noodles.

Apple Cider Braised Chicken
3 lbs chicken pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon honey
2 small purple top turnips, each cut into 8 wedges
1 sweet/tart apple such as Honeycrisp or Cortland, large dice
3 cloves of garlic, smashed but whole
2 cups chicken stock
1 herb bouquet of fresh thyme, oregano, rosemary, and a bay leaf tied with kitchen string or in a cheesecloth bag
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Pat the chicken pieces dry, which will help them with browning. Generously salt and pepper both sides.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof sauté pan and brown the chicken on both sides. Skin-side-down first for 8 minutes, then flip and sear for 4 more minutes until crisp. Set aside on a plate.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add the onions, carrots, shallots, and a pinch of salt and sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.

Stir in tomato paste to coat veggies and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

Add apple cider vinegar, turn up the heat, stirring to deglaze and reduce for 2 minutes.

Add apple cider and honey and reduce for 3–4 minutes.

Add turnips, apples, garlic, and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Cook for 10 minutes.

Nestle chicken into vegetables, add remaining cup of stock (do not cover chicken), and tuck in herb bundle.

Cook in oven for 55 minutes. The sauce will be reduced and skin should be crispy.

Remove herb bundle and garnish with chopped parsley. Dish up and serve with a side of roasted green beans.

Image Credit: Christopher Zajac.
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