Hard Cider-Braised Chicken Thighs with Onions & Bacon
D'Artagnan | Yield: serves 2-4 | Cook Time: about 1 hour
Our air-chilled chicken thighs maintain a wonderfully crispy skin in a shallow braise of hard apple cider, onions, and smoky bacon. Buy high-quality cider, and don’t forget a few extra bottles to drink with dinner. It’s the perfect fall pairing.
- 4 slices Hickory Smoked Bacon, cut into ½-inch strips
- 4 Organic Air-Chilled Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium red onions, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 12 ounces best-quality hard apple cider (we used Reverend Nat’s)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/8 cup heavy cream
- Mashed potatoes, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Set aside. Leave bacon fat in the pan.
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, sear the chicken thighs until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken to a plate. Set aside.
- To the pan add onions, stirring to coat in the rendered fat. Sauté until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté about one minute more.
- Carefully add cider, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn heat up to high. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and thyme. Bring mixture to just a boil. Add chicken back to the pan, skin-side up.
- Place pan in the oven, uncovered, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and liquid has thickened slightly, about 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Remove chicken to a cutting board to rest. Remove thyme sprigs, discard. (If sauce is too thin, you can reduce the liquid over high heat until a syrupy consistency is reached. Remove from heat before stirring in cream.) Stir in cream. Taste for seasoning, add salt and/or pepper if needed. Add reserved bacon.
- Serve chicken over mashed potatoes with a generous helping of sauce and your favorite green vegetable.