I had a phenomenal weekend. Kramer and I hosted a party at our apartment, which I think was our most successful one yet. We made tons of food, most of which will end up on the site in the coming weeks, and managed to squeeze about 25 people into our 600 square foot Brooklyn apartment (somehow). I love any excuse to spend an entire day cooking followed by an entire night of listening to old 90s music, drinking beers, and eating, but I digress (in fact, most of the photos I posted after the cut are of me eating – surprise). I hope that we get to throw another one soon.
Another exciting bit of news: Knorr has asked the ladies of The Knorr Four to continue creating new and exciting recipes for the next two months of 2012. I have to say, I’m so excited! I was pretty bummed when I had to say goodbye, but I’m thrilled that I get to keep coming up with fun, easy to make dishes for Knorr alongside Southern Hospitality, Sweet Basil, and What We’re Eating. You can check out the recipes I’ve made in the past for Knorr here, but in the meantime, let’s get on with the new, shall we? Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I think that this Apple Cider Chicken is a simple, romantic dish that can be prepared by just about anyone; you definitely don’t need any special tools or ingredients, just some tasty apple cider, shallots or onions, and some chicken breasts. The juice and stock reduce as the chicken cooks, and produces a lovely, slightly sweet and tangy sauce that is perfect for serving alongside your favorite vegetables, rice, or bread. You don’t need to go out for Valentine’s, and who would want to, what with the crowded restaurants and overpriced prix fixe menus? Stay in, whip up this romantic little dish, and enjoy some quality time with your loved one.
Party in the kitchen.
My friend Emily and me – we went to preschool together in Chicago, and we both ended up in NYC. What are the odds?
I definitely have food in my mouth here – what else is new?
Kramer, keeping an eye on the festivities.
Morgan and his brother, PJ.
Kramer’s sister, Rachel, and our friend, Janise, laughing it up.
Me harassing Rachel – she’s such a good sport.
It’s not a party without a group photo, right?
This is what my face always looks like when Kramer is behind the camera.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Sear your chicken on both sides in butter over high heat, until golden. Set aside.
Add your shallots to the pan, along with an additional tablespoon of butter, and cook until caramelized. There will be lots of brown crust on the bottom of the pan, but that will come off when you add in the cider.
Add in the thyme, fennel, and red pepper flakes, followed by the cider. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half.
Add in the chicken stock and vinegar, and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken back to the pan, then place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or so, until cooked through.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and cover to keep warm.
Cook the sauce over high heat for 10 minutes or so, until reduced, then add the chicken back in, heat through for a few minutes, and serve.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups unfiltered apple cider
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat in a large ovenproof pan and season your chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken well on both sides, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan, place on a plate, and set aside.
- Melt another 1 tablespoon of butter in your pan over medium heat. Add in your sliced shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are browned and nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add in the fresh thyme, fennel, and red pepper flakes, stir for 30 seconds, then add in the apple cider. Cook for 20-25 minutes over medium heat, until the cider has reduced to about half, stirring every so often so that the shallots don't burn to the bottom. Add in the stock and vinegar, bring to a boil, and add the chicken back to the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, until cooked through.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, place on another plate, cover, and set aside. Place the sauce over high heat and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until it has reduced. Add the chicken back to the pan to heat it through quickly, then serve with plenty of juices and caramelized shallots on top. I served this alongside some steamed broccoli, but some bread to sop up the sauce is delicious, too.