Cider-Braised Chicken Thighs With Apples and Greens
In this hearty one-pot dinner, chicken thighs are browned, then braised in chicken broth flavored with mustard, sage, garlic and a triple dose of apple: apple cider, cider vinegar and apple slices. The addition of a few handfuls of greens makes this a complete meal, in need of nothing else but a nice of hunk of bread to soak up the broth and perhaps a glass of dry white wine.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½to 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 to 6)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
- 1cup thinly sliced shallots (2 to 3 medium shallots)
- 2tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- ¾cup fresh apple cider
- 2tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
- 2tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¾to 1 cup chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
- 1bunch curly kale (10 to 12 ounces), stemmed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1crisp red apple, such as Fuji, cored and thinly sliced
Step 1Pat the chicken thighs dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
Step 2In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium. Cook the chicken thighs skin-side down, undisturbed, until the skin is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Step 3Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of fat from the pot, turn the heat to medium-low, then add the shallots and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Step 4Add the cider, cider vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the cider has reduced slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot, skin-side up. Pour just enough broth around (not on!) the chicken to cover the sides of the thighs but not cover the skin on top.
Step 5Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Partly cover and gently simmer until the thighs are cooked through and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or sheet pan (if you’d like to broil the chicken in the next step), raise the heat to medium, and add the kale and apple to the pot. Cook, tossing often, until all the kale is wilted, the apples are just softened and the liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. While the greens cook, if you’d like to crisp the skin on the chicken, pop it under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 6Taste for seasoning, and stir in 1 or 2 more teaspoons cider vinegar to taste. Divide the chicken and kale mixture among shallow bowls; serve with crusty bread to mop up broth.