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RECIPE: Cider-Braised Chicken Legs

October 9, 2020
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This recipe is a good, hearty meal for a fall evening. And the leftovers make a great base for a follow up chicken noodle soup.

Ingredients:

4 Pasture raised chicken legs
2 Tbsp olive oil
5-6 carrots
1 onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp flour
1 c apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dried thyme
3 c chicken stock
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
3 Tbsp butter

Tools:

Large, heavy oven-safe pot (Dutch oven or similar)
Meat thermometer

Instructions:

  1. Thaw chicken legs, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F
  3. Heat oil in large, oven-safe pot at medium heat
  4. Add chicken legs skin side down (I often need to do this in batches of 1-2 legs)
  5. Cook on each side for about 6 minutes, until golden brown. Set cooked meat aside.
  6. Add carrots, garlic, and onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add flour and stir until homogeneous, about 1 minute.
  8. Add apple cider vinegar and stir.  Be sure to gently get any brown bits off the bottom of the pan and into the sauce. Stir as the liquid comes to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.
  9. Add broth, thyme, additional salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Return to a boil.
  10. Return chicken legs to the pot by burrowing them into the liquid.
  11. Transfer to the oven and cook for 50 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 160°F
  12. Remove pot from oven, and set oven to broil on high.
  13. Transfer chicken to a broiler pan skin side up, and broil for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Then rest the chicken legs for ~10 minutes.
  14. Simmer sauce on medium heat to thicken for about 10-15 minutes.
  15. Serve!

Don't skip the searing!  Searing the meat before you submerge it to simmer in delicious fluids is an important part of flavor enhancement.  No short cuts on this one.

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Sarah Hayes

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