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Apple Cider Braised Chicken

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.

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 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.
    Chicken Cooking - Braised Chicken
  3. Add onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened - about 5 minutes.
  4. Add sage, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper to the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden - about 5 minutes.
    Onions and Herbs - Braised Chickent
  5. Add the apple cider and simmer over moderately high heat for about 25 minutes until cider is significantly reduced and syrupy.
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. 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.
    Ready for the Oven - Braised Chicken
    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.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover with foil.
  9. 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.

IMG_0161.jpg
Serve with the sauteed vegetables with the braised chicken for a healthy, flavorful meal!

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