Apple Cider Braised Chicken

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Chicken, slow cooked in fresh apple cider, rosemary, and garlic fills your house with all the flavors of fall.

Sarah | Wisconsin from Scratch

Food52 Review: Make this recipe if you want to make your kitchen to smell as warm and homey as Thanksgiving dinner. Overall, the chicken was tender and sweet from the cider, and the onions cooked down well in the sauce. I would have put the garlic in the pan later than recommended to prevent burning. Giving the dish some time to rest will help give the sauce time to thicken.Lindsay

Serves: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and/or thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion (I used 3 smallish cippolini onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
In This Recipe


  1. In a large, high-sided pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken pieces evenly with the salt and pepper, then add to the pan, skin side down.
  2. Cook chicken until skin is golden, about 5-7 minutes. Flip chicken pieces, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Remove chicken pieces from the pan, and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  4. Pour in the apple cider vinegar and stir quickly, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. After about 30 seconds, add the chicken stock and apple cider.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan, as well as the rosemary sprigs (it’s a good idea to tie them together with kitchen twine so they’re easier to fish out at the end). Cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove cover from pan, flip chicken pieces, and continue to simmer, uncovered, until chicken is very tender, about 30 minutes more. Serve immediately atop mashed potatoes.

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Reviews (17) Questions (0)

17 Reviews

Cody T. November 10, 2018
Cooked off some bacon first to brown the chicken and the vegetables in the fat. Great addition to the flavor. Anyone thinks it’s missing something, try it. :)
Gloria F. November 2, 2018
This was terrific!! Only thing I did differently was to cube Chicken so it would be easier to eat over mashed potatoes for my 86-year-old Mom. Great fall flavor, easy to make, smells divine. The sauce would also be great with pork. Definitely a keeper.<br />
Alexa M. November 1, 2018
this has become a favorite fall staple - i've made it about a dozen times now and each time seems better than the last! I agree with others below about upping the apple ante in various ways - I also top it with fried sage leaves for some crunch!
Raina J. October 21, 2018
One thing I did which I think added a lot was throw in slices of tart, baking apples right before you let pot simmer covered for 30 minutes. It ups the apple flavor a lot, and plays well with the sharp cut of the vinegar. I also think it helped thicken the sauce quite a bit. Excellent recipe, definitely adding it to my regular round up.
Christa F. October 7, 2018
Can I use chicken breasts?
Raina J. October 21, 2018
I think that would be fine, but thighs are the most fatty, favorable part of the bird. Part of the magic with the braise is that you’re going to be sautéing the onion and garlic in the chicken fat, which is delicious and adds complexity to the sauce. You’re not going to get that same fat leftover from breasts. I would maybe add more butter to compensate if you don’t use thighs.
Victoria A. September 25, 2018
I love this recipe! I make it pretty often. The sauce at the end is amazzing. Instead of apple cider I use 8 oz of unsweetened apple sauce + 1 additional cup of chicken broth. Apple cider isn't always available and I think it'd be too sweet anyways. Always turns out really great!
Wendy F. October 22, 2016
Made ths recipe and thought it was very good, would also give it an 8. I agree with reader before me as to something was lacking. I think I wanted a more appley flavor. Making it again tonight and will omit chicken stock and just use all apple cider. I also used my hand emersion blender to puree the onion and thought that was quite nice. Cooked it for 45 monutes instead of 1 hour, chicken was oh so tender-just right!
Melissa H. October 16, 2016
My husband rated this an 8. I wasn't quite as pleased, but wasn't displeased either. I think it would benefit from a bit more salt to counter the sweetness from the cider. As it is, it's got a smooth sweetness that, although tasty, feels a little lacking. Salt or spice would fix it.
Natalia W. October 7, 2016
is the cider hard or soft?
Jennifer T. October 11, 2016
I think it would be soft, since they refer to it as fresh apple cider.
Natalia W. October 11, 2016
good point :D that's what i used anyway, we'll see how it turns out!
Natalia W. October 14, 2016
it was delicious, i threw it in the slow cooker for the day instead.
Sierra D. October 14, 2016
Natalia, what temperature did you use and how long did you let it simmer in the slow cooker?
Natalia W. October 14, 2016
i put it on low and let it go while i was at work, about 9 hours. i prepped it the night before though, so it was cold from being in the fridge, and did a double batch. it was fall off the bones tender, probably could have been done sooner.
Sierra D. October 14, 2016
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 23, 2016
looks delicious and comforting.