Chicken Braised in Apple Cider with Carrots & Baby Onions, Sea Cider, Red Cabbage

Chicken Braised In Apple Cider

There is just something about apple cider (the hard stuff) in a sauce, adding new crop apples and some great bacon and voila, you’ve got yourself a great combination! You might like to serve the chicken with Colcannon or mashed potatoes, or maybe even dumplings. The chicken can be done either on the top of the stove or in a 325 F oven, (I prefer the oven as it frees up the stove top).

Makes Approximately 4 – 6 Servings

1 chicken, cut up into 8 pieces (reserve the backbone for stock)
2 Tbsp. EVO + more if required
½ to ¾ lb. blanched, peeled small onions (Cippoline or pearl onions), or use frozen ones
4 thickly sliced strips of bacon, cut crosswise into ½” pieces
2 oz. Irish whiskey or Scotch
½ to ¾ cup English style apple cider
1 cup chicken stock or purchased low salt/no salt chicken broth
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
6 medium sized carrots, peeled, cut in half
2 medium sized apples, cored, cut into wedges
4 parsley stems
2 stalks celery, cut into 1” pieces
1 very large bay leaf
1 Tbsp. potato starch

(opt.) 2 to 3 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Garnish: chopped parsley

Heat a large skillet pan over medium heat. Add the bacon; fry until browned but not crisp. Remove and set aside. Add 2 Tbsp. EVO or a combination of EVO and butter and heat until hot but not smoking. Pat the pieces of chicken dry using paper towels, season with salt and pepper; place in the pan to brown, skin-side down (I call it presentation side) first; turn over once golden brown and brown on the other side; remove to a large plate and set aside.

If more than 2 Tbsp. oil remains in the pan spoon some out into a small bowl. Add the onions to the pan and turn in the drippings until they are slightly browned (approx. 5 minutes); deglaze the pan by adding the whiskey; reduce until hardly any liquid remains in the pan. Add the cider, chicken stock and bring to a boil; add the thyme, carrots, apples, parsley stems, celery and bay leaf, then return the chicken (except the wings & breasts) to the pan skin-side down; reduce the heat to simmer (or place in a preheated 325 F oven); cover and let simmer for 10 minutes; adding the wings and breast pieces once the 10 minutes are up; cover; simmer for 15 minutes; turn the chicken pieces over, skin-side up; cover and continue to simmer for approximately 15 more minutes or until  the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer and the carrots are cooked.

Remove the chicken to a large serving platter, placing the carrots around the chicken; keep warm in a preheated 180 F oven.

To thicken the sauce, heat the juices in the pan until hot; combine 1 Tbsp. potato starch with 2 Tbsp. apple cider; stirring in a bit at a time until you have the consistency you like; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. If the sauce is a bit too sweet for your taste, add a bit of the apple cider vinegar to taste.

Helpful link to Colcannon. And Blanching Vegetables, And to Making Stock.

Merridale Cider makes very good quality apple cider as does Sea Cider.   You can find their cider at private liquor stores.



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