Cider-Braised Chicken

November 23, 2012

I love cooking with cider. It’s a little sweeter than wine and gives refreshing apple tones. Last summer I met John, the cider maker from Tideview Cider, who let me sample the apple and pear brews. The Heritage Dry is my favorite.

So here’s a recipe for a cider braised chicken. I’m fortunate to live near Pandora Farm, a small family farm which raises chickens in a very decent manner. And for the tomato sauce, I used some that we jarred this summer. Boy, is it going fast!

Enjoy this chicken with a glass of the same cider used to cook it.

Ingredients

• 1 whole chicken, cut in 8 pieces
• 2 cups hard cider
• 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
• 1 medium leek, sliced
• 4 tablespoons sunflower or grapeseed oil
• 4 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1 bay leaf
• salt + ground black pepper

Dust the chicken in the flour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and sear the chicken pieces for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown.
Transfer the chicken to a medium-sized pot and deglaze the skillet with half of the cider (1 cup). Let it simmer for a minute then add it to the chicken with the rest of the cider, leek, tomatoes and bay leaf.
Slow simmer on low heat, half-covered for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the cream. If you want the sauce to be thicker, low-boil until the sauce reduces. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Finish with some fresh chopped chives, tarragon, or parsley.

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