Chicken in cider – an easy to prepare casserole worthy of any dinner table. The cider gives a fantastic rich flavour to this casserole making it tasty enough to serve for a dinner party and economical enough to serve as a family meal.
I have been cooking this for more years than I care to remember – certainly going back to when I was a student. The original recipe was in one of the first cookery books I owned (I now own hundreds – well maybe not hundreds but a lot!) and used white wine. Back then the wine was substituted with cider through necessity. Now it is a matter of choice not least because we make our own cider most years. Choose a good quality cider for maximum flavour the very cheap stuff is just not as good. I like to add mushrooms, but these can be left out if you prefer. My preference is to use free range chicken which can be difficult to get in smaller portions in our local shops. As a result I tend to buy a whole chicken and cut it into quarters myself. It’s also much cheaper that way. Alternatively if you don’t use chicken quarters you could use any part of the chicken you prefer. Drumsticks, thighs, a mixture of the two, or even boneless chicken breasts. Personally I don’t think the flavour of boneless chicken breasts in casseroles is as good as the others, but it’s a matter of taste. Just take care not to over cook them as they may become a bit tough. They are also by far the most expensive option, which is something to consider I would save them for other dishes that they are more suited to.
Step by step Chicken in cider
- About 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 large onions sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 chicken quarters
- 300 g mushrooms sliced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 300 ml dry cider
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 3 to 4 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
Transfer the onion and garlic to a large saucepan or flameproof casserole.
Add a little extra oil to the frying pan and brown the chicken quarters over a high heat on both sides. You may need to do this in batches. Once browned, place on top of the onions.
Put the mushrooms in the frying pan and cook until soft. Stir in the flour. Then stir in the cider and chicken stock and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper.
Pour over the chicken, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender.