The Apple of my Eye: Applejack-Braised Chicken

Braised Chicken in Applejack

If I added up the amount of times I have used the word “Applejack” in recent posts, I’m sure it would be ridiculous. But it’s the season for deliciously boozy apple-flavored things. It’s called being festive!

So given my deep love for chicken, it only seemed natural to use both together in one fabulous dinner. I saw this recipe for chicken braised with apples, onions and Calvados in a recent issue of Food & Wine and it sounded perfect. I made it for the entree course of my harvest dinner party a few weeks ago, but I tried it out prior to the party to make sure it was sufficiently tasty.

I made it almost entirely as written though, as you  might have guessed from my first paragraph, I used Applejack instead of Calvados. While I’m sure Calvados would have been amazing in there, Applejack was certainly just as delicious. I also omitted the caraway because I think it is disgusting. It’s the spice that ruins “everything” bagels — the smallest amount in my food makes me angry. Since I had some fresh thyme and sage, I used them instead — they are two herbs that get along famously with apples so it seemed like a good addition.

It was really a fabulous dish — easy to make, though it takes time for the meat to braise of course. But since it’s one of those dishes that will only get better with a night in the fridge, do what I did and make it a day ahead. Then you’ll only need to worry about preparing a side dish — preferably something to soak up the delicious sauce.

The first time I made this, I used a whole cut-up chicken as directed and felt like the breasts didn’t turn out as good as the thighs. They weren’t dry per say, but they just weren’t the best pieces — the thighs were by far my favorite. The second time I made it, I used only bone-in thighs and the meat turned out tender and full of flavor.

I also thought that the sauce needed…something…but I wasn’t sure what. I added some more salt both times but it was my husband’s suggestion of apple cider vinegar that really did the trick. A couple of splashes of Bragg (my favorite brand) and it perked things right up.

Served with farro and roasted veggies, it made for a hearty and comforting dinner!

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10 thoughts on “The Apple of my Eye: Applejack-Braised Chicken

  1. Thanks for liking and commenting on my Sal Curioso review, if you’re ever in Hong Kong you should check it out 🙂 This recipe looks so good, I’m definitely going to try it out!

    • You should, it’s worth it! And I will definitely check out Sal Curioso if I ever make it to Hong Kong. That whole meal you had is practically enough to get me to book a a plane ticket — I had serious food envy.

    • I know! It’s actually ridiculous how many things I use it in. Which is why I burn through one bottle between Nov-Dec and then can’t look at it again until the next fall! =) And yes, this was totally a warm you up and make you happy type of meal!

    • Please do! It will make you happy — especially with the addition of herbs. In fact, I’m just pretending they meant to put those in there. Who would make something with chicken and apples and not use thyme or sage? Madness!

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