A friend said he was making braised chicken for a family get together tonight – which naturally got me interested in exploring recipes for braised chicken!
I came across one – a modified Food & Wine recipe – at The Kitchen Sink. I’ve always loved apple cider – and this one looked interesting. So, we made our own version earlier this evening and really loved all of its flavors. We paired the chicken with some sauteed vegetables with a splash of balsamic vinegar and fresh lime juice – yum!
Here’s our version of Apple Cider Braised Chicken. Our version uses skinless chicken (lower fat, healthier!) along with simplified ingredients (a whole bottle of Martinelli’s cider, a full 32-oz package of free range chicken stock, etc.). It’s a great treat for a Saturday dinner at home or a Sunday afternoon with friends and family. Serves 4 as is – add a couple more chicken pieces to serve 6.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 half breasts)
- 2 skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large onion (sweet/Spanish), thinly sliced
- 4-6 sage leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 bottle (25.4 oz) Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider or 2-3/4 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups organic free-range chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet. Season chicken with salt, pepper and smoked paprika, add to skillet and cook over medium heat about 7 minutes. Turn and cook another 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a platter for now.
- Add onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 5 minutes.
- Add sage, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper to the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden – about 5 minutes.
- Add the apple cider and simmer over moderately high heat for about 25 minutes until cider is significantly reduced and syrupy.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken stock and chopped parsley to a French oven. Transfer the onion sauce to the French oven, arrange the chicken in the sauce – ensuring its covered by sauce.
Set the French oven, uncovered, in the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Roast the chicken for 50-60 minutes until cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover with foil.
- Set the French oven over high heat on the stove and boil the sauce until the liquid is reduced – about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a serving dish to serve with the chicken.
Enjoy the flavors!
Note: about 25 minutes before the chicken was ready to come out of the oven, we sauteed a mix of fresh vegetables with chopped garlic in olive oil and added a couple of splashes of balsamic vinegar and fresh lime juice at the end.