Chicken is seared with herbs and cooked to tender perfection in a flavorful apple cider sauce. Serve this Apple Cider Chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts and apples for a memorable fall-inspired meal.
This recipe worked so incredibly well on my first attempt that I immediately knew it would take a permanent place on my fall menu rotation. While Brussels sprouts, sliced red onion and apples roast in the oven, chicken is seared and then simmers in an easy apple cider sauce that is reduced and thickened slightly just before serving.
Oh, this sauce, friends! I declare this gorgeous meal to be the best possible way to welcome fall into your home.
- Brussels sprouts – Trimmed and halved (loose leaves removed).
- Red apples – Sweet-crisp red apples like Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp. Slice the unpeeled apples in half, remove the cores and slice them each into 8 wedges.
- Red onion – Cut into 6 to 8 wedges.
- Fresh rosemary – You’ll need several sprigs plus some chopped leaves.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Dried thyme – If you happen to have fresh thyme on hand, by all means use it, but it’s not worth buying for the small amount needed.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Regular thickness, not thin sliced.
- Apple cider – Cider is basically raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process. Sometimes it is pasteurized and sometimes not but either way, it will work in this recipe. Apple cider should be refrigerated and consumed within a week or two.
- Dijon mustard – Use regular Dijon or your favorite stone ground mustard.
- Apple cider vinegar – It gives just the right amount of tang to the sauce.
For the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
- Add the Brussels sprouts, apples, red onion and rosemary sprigs to the baking sheet
- Toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast on the upper oven rack, flipping halfway through.
While the Brussels and apples roast, get started on the Apple Cider Chicken.
How to Make Apple Cider Chicken
- Heat butter in a large ovenproof skillet (cast iron works great!). Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, and thyme. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides.
- Pour apple cider into the skillet around the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the lower oven rack (Brussels and apples are till roasting away on the higher rack) and roast until the internal temperature of the thickest piece measures 165 F when measured with an instant read thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- After removing the chicken from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board to rest and return the skillet to the heat. Simmer the sauce to reduce the cider slightly. Reduce the heat a little under the skillet and whisk in the Dijon. Add a pat of butter and the vinegar and stir constantly until the butter has melted into the sauce.
- Combine the remaining apple cider with the cornstarch in a measuring cup and whisk it into the sauce. Continue to cook on low heat until the sauce has thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and remove the skillet from the heat.
- Return the chicken (either whole or sliced) to the skillet and spoon the sauce over the top.
- Remove the Brussels and apples from the oven when they are fork tender and cooked to your liking. You can roast them just until tender and browned, as shown here, or let them cook until deeper brown and slightly caramelized.
Although this recipe could easily be a meal in itself, I like to serve this Apple Cider Chicken with a rice or pasta side dish.
- Almond Rice Pilaf – This is the rice pictured in this post. The little crunchy bits of almond just accented it perfectly.
- Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan – This flavorful pasta side dish is done all on the stove.
- Plain white or brown rice, cooked according to the package directions.
FAQs and Valerie’s Tips
Apple cider has a more robust flavor than clear, filtered apple juice and works far better in this recipe. Be aware that some brands use “cider” on the label as a marketing technique when it is really just plain apple juice. You know you’ve got apple cider if it is cloudy and slightly darker in color. If you have trouble locating cider, check labels and choose an unfiltered apple juice which is basically the same thing. See more information on apple cider in the Ingredient Notes section above.
Absolutely. This recipe would be delicious with bone-in or boneless chicken thighs. Whatever cut of chicken you choose, just be sure to cook it to 165 degrees F.
You can add or substitute any vegetables you love. Peeled chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, or baby potatoes would all be wonderful choices. Just be sure to cut them to uniform size for even roasting.
Apple Cider Chicken
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved (loose leaves removed)
- 2 crisp-sweet red apples (unpeeled) like Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 red onion cut into 6 to 8 wedges
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste), divided
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 4 pieces (regular thickness, not thin sliced)
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ¾ cups apple cider divided
- 2 teaspoons Dijon or stone ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F.
- Add the Brussels sprouts, apples, red onion and rosemary sprigs to a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) and a ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast on the upper oven rack, flipping halfway through, until tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and then season on both sides with remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining ½ teaspoon pepper, the chopped rosemary and thyme. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until well browned on the bottom, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook 4 more minutes, then pour 1½ cups cider into the skillet around the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the lower oven rack and roast until internal temperature of the thickest piece measures 165 F when measured with an instant read thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- When the Brussels are fork tender, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Remove and discard the woody rosemary sprigs and toss the veggies and apples with a spatula. Lay a sheet of foil loosely over the top to keep them warm while you finish the chicken.
- After removing the chicken from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board to rest and return the skillet to MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Simmer for 2 minutes to reduce the cider slightly. Reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW and whisk in the Dijon. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the vinegar and stir constantly until the butter has melted into the sauce. Combine the remaining ¼ cup apple cider with the cornstarch in a measuring cup and whisk it into the sauce. Continue to cook on LOW until the sauce has thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Slice the chicken (if desired) and return it to the skillet with the sauce. Serve the chicken with the veggies and apples, spooning some of the sauce over the top of both.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.