Cider Braised Chicken with Fall Vegetables

             serves 4-6




5 small parsnips (about 10 ounces)                                                    1/3 pound pancetta or bacon, diced 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)                                                                      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper                                  1 small onion, finely diced 2 small garlic cloves, peeled                1 ½ cups hard dry apple cider                                                            1 cup chicken stock                                                                            3 medium carrots, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick batons                                                                                                  2 sprigs fresh thyme                                                                          2 cups brussels sprouts, halved

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Peel the parsnips and cut into ½-inch thick batons. With the tip of a paring knife, pry out and discard the woody core from each parsnip baton. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the pancetta. Cook the pancetta, stirring, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is browned, about 6 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Increase the heat in the Dutch oven to medium high and put the chicken in the pan, skin-side down; cook in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook until browned on the second side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a rimmed plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Pour in the hard cider and chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

3. Add the parsnips, carrots, and thyme sprigs to the pot, followed by the chicken and pancetta. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and cook for 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken, parsnips, and carrots to a high-sided serving dish. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then pour the braising juices and sprouts over the chicken, parsnips, and carrots. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Jessica Battilana ’00 as presented in “Repertoire”     
Photo by Ed Anderson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *