Cider-braised chicken with apples and kale

A one-pan comfort food meal!

This dish is so easy to pull together and it smells absolutely divine as it’s cooking – so much so that every time I make it, anyone in the house is lured to the kitchen by its aroma. Of course that means they have to help set the table or wash the prep dishes, but no one seems to complain as they’re quite content to bask in the scent of the meal they’re about to enjoy. You could serve this healthy one-pan dish with slices of crusty bread for mopping up the sauce, or accompanied by mashed potatoes, rice, or even pasta. If you like this dish, you might also enjoy my brined pork chops with apples or this quick-braised chicken and apricots.

Ingredients

  • 4 large or 6 medium bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 1.5 lbs / 680 g)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples, cored and cut into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick slices
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.25 g) each dried thyme, basil, tarragon, summer savory and oregano
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple cider
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine or white cooking wine
  • 2 cups (135 g) chopped kale (stems and centre ribs removed)

Method

  • Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle both sides of chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a large, heavy-duty skillet placed over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When it is shimmering, add chicken pieces, skin-side down, and sear undisturbed for about 7 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden brown. Turn pieces over and sear 5 minutes more. Remove chicken to a clean plate.
  • Lower heat to medium. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, scraping up any delicious bits from the bottom of the pan. Add apples and cook, stirring very gently, for 2 minutes more.
  • Push the onions and apples to the sides of the pan, leaving the centre open. Pour the wine into this open space and sprinkle herbs on top. Stir and let bubble for about a minute, then add chicken stock and cider. Return seared chicken thighs to the pan, nestling them down into the liquid.
  • Place a lid on the pan and cook 15-20 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165F. When chicken is cooked, remove it again to a clean plate. Simmer pan sauce, uncovered, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes so sauce reduces and thickens slightly.
  • Add chopped kale and cook, stirring, until it wilts (about 2 minutes).
  • Serve warm, plating chicken pieces over starch of choice (I’m on team mashed potato, in case you were wondering), spooning apples, onions and kale over top.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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