Apple-Ginger Pan Braised Chicken Thighs
Updated: Feb 9
A 30-minute meal that tastes like it was braised and lacquered all day.
Made with apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and ginger juice, the pan sauce is literally finger-licking good, as the saying goes. The chicken first browns with sliced shallots and apple quarters and then the liquid is added along with some carrot slices. The lid goes on and 15 minutes later you have a dish that will blow you away.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; measuring spoons; wet measuring cup; large sauté pan with tight-fitting lid; wooden spoon; tongs
6 chicken thighs
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise 2 apples, quartered 1 large carrot, sliced crosswise 1 cup apple cider
¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons ginger juice
2 tablespoons cold butter, divided kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
parsley leaves for garnish
1. Pat dry the chicken thighs before seasoning generously with kosher salt and pepper on the skin side. Set aside.
2. After washing your hands, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the butter has melted and begins to foam, add the shallots to the pan and stir continuously for about two minutes or until softened, adjusting the heat as needed not to burn the shallots.
3. Add the seasoned chicken thighs skin-side-down to the pan, being sure not to crowd the pan (if necessary, cook the chicken in batches). Leave the chicken undisturbed for about five minutes or until the skin has crisped. While it cooks, season generously the flesh side (facing you) with salt and pepper. Arrange the apple slices in the pan where there are pockets of space.
4. Once the skin is golden brown, turn the chicken thighs over so the flesh side is now touching the pan. Turn the apple slices as well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then remove the chicken and apple pieces from the pan and set aside. Remove the pan from the heat and discard any excess fat.
5. Return the pan to the heat and deglaze with the cider, vinegar, and ginger juice. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to incorporate the fond on the bottom of the pan into the cider sauce.
6. Return the chicken and apple pieces to the pan in the simmering sauce and add the carrot slices. Once the sauce is bubbling, cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
“Ginger juice can be found at your local Whole Foods or gourmet store. It packs a big punch of ginger flavor in liquid form, which shows up in this pan sauce as a concentrated and bold flavor.”
7. Lift the lid and carefully remove the chicken, apples, and carrots from the pan and set aside. Raise the heat to medium high and reduce the pan sauce until it has thickened and has a glossy sheen.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of cold butter until melted and emulsified in the sauce. Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
9. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, skin-side down to coat the the skin in the sauce. Now turn the chicken skin-side-up and return the apples and carrots to the pan. Warm over medium-low heat for approximately two minutes.
10. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Makes 3-4 servings.