The Subtext: I adore the idea of cooking food with apple cider. Sweet things, sure I do love me a nice apple cider doughnut. Adult beverage, okay – heat up a cup, add a swig of whisky, it’s good for what ails you. But savory main courses made with apple cider? That sounds amazing! Pork and chicken are natural candidates for this treatment.
The Playlist: I think it's sort of obvious why I picked this song to go with the meal. Plus when is it ever NOT a good time to bring Benny Goodman into the equation? I ask you.
Click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Kitchen Tip: Pricking the chicken all over with a fork before adding it to the marinade helps the apple cider flavor work its way into the chicken better and faster.
Simplest upgrade: Add more sliced apples to the roasting pan. Recipe calls for 2, make it at least 4.
Slightly more time-consuming upgrade, still easy though: Cook the apple cider (and cool it) before using it to marinate the chicken. So for this recipe, which calls for 2 cups of apple cider in the marinade, I would start with 3 or 4 cups of cider in a pan on the stove, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the cider has reduced to about 2 cups. The flavor will be more intense than if you just poured 2 cups right out of the jug. Be sure to cool your reduction completely before continuing to mix the marinade and add the chicken parts.
I love how easy this dish is and the flexibility to tweak it for maximum flavor and/or personal preferences – will definitely make this again! RECOMMEND
Recipe source: Gimme Some Oven originally from U.S. Apple Association
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 large lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 cups apple cider, homemade or store-bought *
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 chicken legs or thighs
- 2 -4 large apples, each sliced into eighths
- 1 lb. small, red or Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
- Place a gallon size heavy-duty zip-top bag into a large bowl. Place the onion and next 10 ingredients into the zip-top bag, combining well. Add the chicken to the marinade. Close the bag, place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting pan skin-side up. Pour all of the marinade, including onions and lemons over and around the pieces.
- Tuck the apples and potatoes around the chicken.
- Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through to re-coat everything with the marinade.
- Arrange chicken and potatoes on a platter and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.
* For even more intense apple cider flavor, make a reduction. Start with 3-4 cups apple cider in a pan, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the cider is reduced to 2 cups (which is what the recipe calls for).