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 & set aside. Add 2 Tbsp. EVO or a combination of EVO & butter and heat until hot but not smoking. Pat the pieces of chicken dry using paper towels, season with salt & pepper & place in the pan to brown, skin-side down (I call it presentation side) first; turn over once golden brown & brown on the other side; remove to a large plate & 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 & 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 & bring to a boil; add the thyme, carrots, apples, parsley stems, celery & 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 & let simmer for 10 minutes; adding the wings & breast pieces once the 10 minutes are up; cover & simmer for 15 minutes; turn the chicken pieces over, skin-side up; cover & continue to simmer for approximately 15 more minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer & 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 & 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.
[…] beautiful Chicken Braised in Apple Cider Stew from Phyllis at Oracibo is a perfect winter warmup […]