Cheap, Fast, and Elegant Dinner: Apple Cider Braised Chicken Thighs
Why spend a lot of money for a fancy dinner when you can make something just as good for far less? Apple Cider Braised Chicken Thighs cook on the stove in under an hour and taste like you've been working on them for hours. Inexpensive boneless, skinless chicken thighs are dredged in flour, browned, and simmer in a light, fruity apple cider sauce with onions and celery for a savory note. The thighs are much more tender and have a richer flavor than boneless chicken breasts. The dish is lightly seasoned with a bit of sage, and a dash of lemon juice and a bit more cider added before serving the chicken thighs keeps the taste bright and fresh. Serve the thighs and sauce atop rice, noodles, couscous, or your favorite carb and with a green vegetable alongside.
Apple Cider Braised Chicken Thighs -- Serves 4
6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in half, if large
1/2 cup of flour
1-2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried sage
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth or 2 teaspoons of reduced sodium "Better than Bullion" and 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cup of apple cider, divided
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Chopped parsley (optional)
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Put the chicken in a large plastic bag and add the flour. Seal and shake the bag until the chicken is coated. When the pan and oil are hot, put the chicken in the pan and brown it on both sides, flipping it mid-way through, for 8-10 minutes. Add the celery and onion and cook the chicken and vegetables for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, sage, salt, and lemon pepper. Add the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of cider and bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pan, and let the chicken mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. Put the flour left in the bag in a cup and whisk in 1/4 cup of water. Pour the flour slurry into the chicken mixture and stir it in with a spoon. Keep stirring until the flour mixture is incorporated and the sauce thickens. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of apple cider and the lemon juice. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the chicken with a little chopped parsley if you like, and serve the chicken and sauce over something good that will soak up the sauce.