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Recipe: Cider-Braised Chicken Winter Casserole

Try this delicious recipe from a family in the Ceres Valley

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By Amy Saunders | June 30, 2021 | Recipes

Winter is the time to indulge in comfort food and nothing is as comforting as meal that reminds you of the warmth of home. Take a look at this Cider-Braised Chicken Winter Casserole from the Loxtonia Cider family. You may use an apple cider of your choice or a cider replacement of your choice like apple juice.


Serves 4

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

2 fennel bulbs, sliced

4 shallots, sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

A large handful / bunch fresh sage leaves

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

340ml Loxtonia Crispy Apple Cider/Apple juice

2 green apples, sliced

125ml fresh cream

½ bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed & roughly chopped

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Olive oil


Preheat oven to 180˚C.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large Dutch oven, buffet casserole or cast iron skillet.

Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season with salt.

Sear the chicken thighs skin-side down, until the skin is golden brown.

Flip and cook until lightly browned on the underside.

Set chicken pieces aside on a tray.

Add the sliced fennel to the pan with the residual chicken fat and cook until lightly golden on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside next to the chicken.

If you need to - add a fresh drizzle of olive oil to the pan.

Add the sliced shallots and sage leaves. Season. Cook until the shallots soften and begin to take on some colour. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the apple cider vinegar, mustard and Loxtonia Cider/Apple juice.

Stir everything together and bring to a simmer.

Add the fennel and the chicken back into the pan and nestle it in the sauce.

Dot the apples around the dish.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken thighs are cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or baking tray (you can keep the chicken warm in the oven during the next step - or crisp up the skin under the grill).

Bring the braise to a gentle simmer on the stove top. Add the kale and cream.

Stir until the kale is wilted and the sauce has reduced slightly.

Taste for seasoning. Return the chicken to the pan for serving family style.

Serve with a good crusty bread for mopping up the sauce and a green side salad.