Hard Cider-Braised Chicken Thighs with Onions & Bacon

Cook Time about 1 hour
Yield serves 2-4
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 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


Recipe notes
This simple braised chicken thigh recipe yields wonderfully crispy skin and the hard apple cider, onions, and smoky bacon combine to make a tasty sauce.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Serve chicken over mashed potatoes with a generous helping of sauce and your favorite green vegetable.