Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized ShallotsPosted: May 9, 2012
Practically every time I’m in Connecticut visiting my family, I always make a stop at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield. I know that Massachusetts is certainly not without many, many orchards, but the ones near us are so expensive.
I’m not sure why the pick-your-own produce is cheaper at Lyman’s, but it’s not the only reason I love it there. They also have a great orchard store where they offer all kinds of goodies: jams, baked goods, cheeses, and of course, apple cider.
I always get at least a pint to bake with, but I had never cooked with it before. Until I saw this recipe on Crepes of Wrath. I knew I had to make it, so once I got back from my last trip, I set to work. Any recipe involving roasting chicken in apple cider has got to be awesome.
And it was. It involves caramelizing shallots, which is pure genius I might add. I had never thought of caramelizing shallots, though I do it with onion all the time.
You brown the chicken, then braise it in a sauce composed of cider, chicken broth and apple cider vinegar. The chicken absorbs the most wonderful apple-y undertones in the oven, then you reduce the sauce and serve it over the chicken, topped with the shallots.
If you’ve got some extra cider and don’t want to bake, definitely give this recipe a try.
Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Shallots
Adapted from Crepes of Wrath
Makes 2 servings
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 large chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups unfiltered apple cider
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat in a large ovenproof skillet and season your chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken well on both sides, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan, place on a plate, and set aside.
Melt the other tablespoon of butter in your pan over medium heat. Add in your sliced shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are browned and nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add in the fresh thyme and red pepper flakes, stir for 30 seconds, then add in the apple cider. Cook for 20-25 minutes over medium heat, until the cider has reduced to about half, stirring every so often so that the shallots don’t burn to the bottom. Add in the stock and vinegar, bring to a boil, and add the chicken back to the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, until cooked through.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, place on another plate, cover, and set aside. Place the sauce over high heat and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until it has reduced. Add the chicken back to the pan to heat it through quickly, then serve with plenty of juices and caramelized shallots on top. Serve with rice or bread to sop up the excellent juices.