Thursday, December 10, 2009


At brunch on Sunday, I picked up a copy of a magazine aimed at increasing tourism in the county where we live.  It always includes a recipe or two, many provided by local restaurants. I knew as soon as I read the recipe for the Harvest Cafe's cider-braised chicken that I had to make it. The recipe did not offer measurements, but that was easy enough to work through.

1 whole chicken, cut up (I cut mine into 10 pieces)
root vegetables (1 medium onion, 3 parsnips, 3 carrots, 3 stalks celery, 1 ruttabagas-medium dice)
salt and pepper
fresh thyme and sage (I used a big bunch of thyme and 2 large sprigs of rosemary, tied up in cheesecloth)
cider (2 1/2 cups)
flour for dredging (1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
olive oil (2 tbs)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Season the chicken parts and dredge in the flour.
Saute the chicken in olive oil in a Dutch oven until browned on both sides.
Remove the chicken from the pan, put in the root vegetables, and saute until browned and carmelized.
Return the chicken to the pan, add the fresh herbs and salt and pepper, then add the cider.
Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Serve over polenta or other starch.

Mere words cannot do justice to this dish. From the incredible aroma that made our mouths water and long for the timer to go off, to the succulence of the chicken, this is a dish that I will make again and again. I already have a request for it to be made with all dark meat, something that I am only to happy to do. The slightly bitter tang of the ruttabaga came to life after braising in the sweet cider. The carrots and onions added even more sweetness, but a natural sweetness. Served over grilled polenta rounds, this was my very favorite newcomer this fall. Don't take my word for it; make it! Soon!


  1. Arlene, this is a perfect dinner for these late fall nights. The aroma will warm the house and your incredible ingredients will warm the soul.

    I am so glad you stopped by my site, so I could discover your fabulous blog filled with so many creative hearty recipes. I look forward to reading through more. Also, thanks for letting me know about trying my Sugar Plums ~ they are my favorite.

  2. The chicken sounds incredible braised in cider, what a delicious preparation!

  3. Chicken braised in cider sounds delicious! I have about a gallon of cider, so I'll have to try this one. I love your orange dutch oven. I think we might have the same one :D
    Also, I am a big sucker for Brussel sprouts and I love the way they add that splash of green on your plate!

  4. Oh, this looks amazing! I love the brussels sprouts in there...and anything cider is good by me!! Delish :D

  5. In the winter, I usually braise something at least once a week. This is going on the list!

  6. I love the colour you've got on the chicken. I think it is so important to actually BROWN meat not just seal it when you are doing this sort of dish. It definitely sounds like my sort of thing!

  7. You had me on root vegetables & cider. Yum! Love the touch of Brussels sprouts too!!!


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