Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cider, Mustard and Honey Marinade

One of my favorite ways of marinating chicken is using hard apple cider (check HERE for a recipe), and I was planning to do that again. However, this time I wanted to add another layer of flavor to the cider marinade.
As I’m also very fond of the combination of honey and mustard, I figured they can all work well together. So I mixed the cider with a fairly large amount of mustard, and added a bit of mustard powder and mustard seeds to enhance the flavor even more. This gave the chicken a distinctive mustard flavor and a subtle heat. The honey in the marinade added a nice sweetish contrast to the mustard’s heat and the cider’s acidity, along with wonderful floral aroma. Once roasted, the honey caramelized and the skin got an appetizing, deep golden-brown color.
The dish is very quick and easy to assemble, and can be kept in the marinade for up to a day in advance. Roasting it just before serving results a moist chicken meat, crispy skin and a concentrated tasty mustard sauce. Try it and enjoy.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours, and up to overnight
Roasting time: 50 minutes

4 (1.5 lbs (680 grams)) chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (preferably air-chilled)
1½ cups hard apple cider
1/3 cup smooth Dijon mustard
½ tsp mustard powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 Tbs salt
¼ cup honey
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1 medium shallot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

1. Pat-dry the chicken with paper towels and set aside. Mix the cider, mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds in a small bowl, and pour into a roasting pan, lined with foil and baking paper. Add the salt, honey and pepper, and mix again. Roll the chicken thighs in the marinade and scatter the shallots over. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.

2. When ready to roast, uncover the pan and bring the chicken to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
3. Roast for about 50 minutes, turning the chicken twice, until the skin is dark and crispy. Serve warm, with the sauce.

Serving suggestion:
Peel and slice a bunch of colorful carrots. Place in a flat container, separated by color (to prevent the purple ones from bleeding over the rest). Add a bit of cider, a splash of white wine vinegar, salt and honey, and steam for 2-3 minutes.

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