With the fall season upon us, it’s time to fire up the oven to cook up your more vegetable-based dishes and savory meals that prioritize flavor above all. Thankfully, this cider braised chicken fall recipe from Food52 hits all of those points and tastes great while doing it. It’s all thanks to the autumnal collection of chicken thighs, apples, and onions residing in a bubbling cider sauce with savory-sweet thyme infusing the flavor of the chicken throughout the cooking process. You’ll top the whole meal off by serving it atop some crust-laden bread or mashed potatoes so that your side dish can soak up the savory sauce in all its goodness.
Fall Recipe Ingredients:
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs with chicken skin still attached
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- A pinch of Kosher Salt (to taste)
- 4 small yellow onions (halved & peeled)
- 2-3 small Fuji, Mutsu, or Stayman Winesap apples (cored & halved)
- 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 cup of dry hard cider (can substitute non-alcoholic)
- Brad, noodles, or potatoes for serving
- You’ll want to begin this recipe by preheating your oven to 400°F. While it’s busy heating up, you’ll prep your chicken thighs by first patting them dry with a paper towel to remove the excess oil, water, and juices.
- Next, take a large, ovenproof skillet of at least 10 inches in diameter and heat it over medium-high heat until it’s properly hot. Once it is, add oil and swirl the skillet to coat the entire bottom with oil. You’ll then add your chicken thighs to the skillet with the skin side of the thighs facing down. Sprinkle the thighs with a pinch of kosher salt, and sear them for three minutes. Afterward, add your onion halves (cut side down), and sear the thighs for another five minutes. Feel free to rotate the pan as needed in order to brown the chicken evenly, but don’t disturb the chicken or onions when doing this.
- At this point, you will use some kitchen tongs to flip the onions to their reverse side and check the bottom of the chicken thighs to ensure that they’re golden. If they are, flip the thighs as well; if they’re not browned yet, wait another minute or so. Once the onions and chicken are flipped you may add your apple pieces to the pan with the cut side facing down. Scoot the chicken and onions to the side of the skillet as needed so that you can ensure the apples are receiving enough heat.
- Throw in your thyme sprigs to the pan and season everything with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook the apples for 4-7 minutes or until they’re evenly browned and then flip them over.
- Now you can carefully pour in your cider. Note: once added to the heating element, the cider will bubble vigorously. You’ll let the contents of the skillet simmer for 4-8 minutes or until the cider you poured in is reduced by half. Add your chicken or vegetable stock, and bring it all to a boil.
- After it’s boiling, use a potholder and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast it for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Additionally, you can pierce the thighs with a knife to determine if they’re fully cooked. If the emitting juices have a clear coloration, you can consider them cooked. Though, it’s always nice to have peace of mind by double-checking with a digital instant thermometer.
- Take the skillet from the oven, and serve the chicken, onions, and thyme atop a starch base such as crusty bread, noodles, or roasted potatoes. You’ll do this so that the base can soak up all the sauces from the chicken.
For more delicious fall recipes, click here.