Cider-Braised Chicken

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.


• 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.