Chicken, fruit, Recipes

Chicken Thighs with Hard Cider, Apples and Rosemary

The following chicken dish is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I’ve come up with. Besides salt and pepper, it contains only 5 ingredients, yet it is full of flavors,  as if it was made with so many more.
The hard cider marinade gives the chicken wonderful flavor, with the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. The crisp apples, dried shallots and rosemary, all add their flavors, textures and aroma. Roasting the chicken in high temperature, with the marinade, results crispy skin on the outside, and succulent meat inside, while the stewed apples make for a tasty side.
Preparation is so easy and can be done in advance: place the marinated chicken in the fridge, and let the marinade do its magic. Roast just before serving, and enjoy.

* Alaea, Hawaiian red salt, is an unrefined sea salt, that was mixed with a red alae volcanic clay. It’s great for roasting and adds an earthy flavor to the dish. It is available in specialty stores or online. If you can’t find it, replace it with any other coarse sea salt.
* Hard cider is a fermented apple juice, that contains 3%-7% alcohol. For best results, use higher alcohol content cider.
* The apples in the dish should be crispy and tart. Mealy apples will not keep their shape during roasting, while sweet ones will result an overly sweet dish.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 12 hours
Roasting time: 1 hour 10 minutes

4 medium chicken thighs (2 lbs/900 grams), bone-in skin-on, preferably air chilled
1 Tbs Hawaiian Alaea salt (see notes)
1 tsp freshly ground four pepper mix
1 bottle (12 oz/355 ml) hard cider ( I used Angry Orchard Crisp Apple)
2 sprigs rosemary
2 Tbs dried shallots
2 medium crisp and tart apples, cored and cut into medium segments

1. Place the chicken thighs in a Ziploc bag. Add the salt, pepper, cider, rosemary and shallots. Mix and seal the bag. Place in the fridge for 12 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

2. When ready to roast, bring the chicken to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Line a roasting pan with baking paper.
3. Place the chicken thighs in the pan,  in one layer,  and pour the marinade over it. Add the apples between the chicken thighs, so that they will be partially covered with the marinade. Place the rosemary on top.

4. Roast,  in the lower third of the oven, for 1 hour and 10 minutes,  until the skin is gloden-brown and crispy and the meat is ready.

67 thoughts on “Chicken Thighs with Hard Cider, Apples and Rosemary”

  1. Oh – my – goodness !!! Must get patient’s plumbing back in order real soon! These look wonderful. Where do I find hard cider? Liquor section of the grocery store? I know nothing about “spirits”.

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Blaine, I’m glad you liked the recipe, and that it fits with your paleo diet. I was basically playing with these ingredients, and was surprised how good the dish turned out. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I’ll be happy to hear your comments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the recipe. The hard cider worked wonders with the flavor and texture of the chicken. I highly recommend it. Will definitely use this recipe again soon, with all the wonderful fresh apples that are coming. 🙂


    1. Thank you Karen, I’m glad you liked the recipe. Chicken thighs are my favorite too, so I try to come up with new ways of preparing them quite often. This one turned out even better that I planned. Hope you’ll enjoy it too. 🙂


    1. Thank you Mollie, I’m glad you liked the recipe. Hard cider is one of my favorite light drinks in the summer, so it made sense to see how it works in a marinade and I was very happy with how it came out. Needless to say, I served this tasty dish with cold hard cider… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re my hero~! You know, I’ve got a similar recipe involving duck thighs on my “Usual suspects” list for the darkest and coldest days of the year, and every now and again I catch myself thinking “Mmmmh, I wish it was time for the cider duck already…” Right now, after having a short meltdown about the fact that I haven’t thought of just using chicken instead myself, I’m writing a shopping list with a Ronit-twist on my recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Diana, I’m glad you’ve found the use of chicken helpful. The hard cider worked to well with it. No doubt duck would be even better, but it is indeed much more suitable for winter. This dish is just perfect for fall, with all the fresh apples. Hope you’ll enjoy it as well. I’ll be happy to hear about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dolly, I’m glad you liked the recipe. Apples are indeed wonderful with duck, but, as I’ve found out with this dish, they are also great with chicken. The recipe is indeed very suitable for the holidays. I hope you’ll enjoy it. שנה טובה! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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