Cider-Braised Chicken Pairs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts for Fall – Loveland Reporter-Herald


Fall is ushering in a different kind of cooking for many home cooks. When the weather gets colder, we’re happy to swap cooking outside on the grill for baking, roasting or skipping dinner on the stovetop.

This easy one-dish recipe is a great kick start. September means apple season, and now is also a time when sprouts such as Brussels sprouts are plentiful in grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

Braising chicken in hard cider, another apple product easy to find in our region, amplifies its seasonal flavor, adding a subtle sweetness to the dish. (Cooked alcohol.)

I served the chicken over couscous to lengthen the recipe, and you can do the same with rice or noodles. If you don’t want to worry about buying an alcoholic drink, substitute it with cider or regular apple juice to make the sauce.

Cider-braised chicken with apples and Brussels sprouts

5 slices of bacon, chopped
8 bone-in skinned chicken thighs (about 3 1/2 pounds total)
2 medium tart red apples, cored and cut into wedges
1 12-ounce bottle of strong cider
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or fennel seeds
2 tablespoons of whole mustard
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
12 ounces of fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved so large (2 cups)
Cooked couscous, rice or noodles, for serving

In a very large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the cooking juices in the pan.

Add the chicken to the pan with the pan juices, skin side down, and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning once; remove from the pan. Add the apples to the pan and cook 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides; remove from the pan. Drain and discard the cooking juices from the pan.

Add the cider, thyme, mustard and salt to the pan, scraping up the golden bits. Bring to a boil; lower the temperature.

Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add apples and cook, uncovered, an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (at least 165 degrees).

To serve, pour couscous, rice or noodles into a plate or shallow bowl. Divide the chicken thighs, Brussels sprouts and apples between bowls or plates. Pour the cider mixture on top. Sprinkle each portion with bacon. For 4.

Adapted from

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