Apple Cider Glazed Chicken

by Eat Well with Lex

Apple Cider Glazed Chicken is made with seared, juicy chicken thighs smothered with a sweet and savory homemade sauce and then baked to tender perfection. This easy one pan recipe is the perfect entree for a fall meal.

For more delicious chicken recipes, try Pesto Bruschetta Chicken, Creamy Tuscan Chicken, and Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts.

close up view of apple cider chicken in a skillet

During the fall season, apple is a popular flavor used for everything from apple pies to apple cider donuts but I bet savory recipes with apples never crossed your mind. You can make any chicken recipe, but why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary. These Apple cider chicken thighs takes a classic dish and elevates it to a whole new level.

Pause for a second and picture this: tender chicken thighs, perfectly seared, bathed in a mouthwatering apple cider glaze then baked to juicy tenderness in the oven. I don’t know about you but the sound of that makes me drool. Not only does this dish tastes divine, but it also fills your kitchen with a comforting aroma that is simply irresistible. You better believe it, we wasted no time to to dig in and I know you won’t either.

And here’s the secret my friend: it’s deceptively easy to make. Your friends and family will be impressed and think that you’re a master chef. Celebrate fall with this easy weeknight dinner that’s ready in under an hour.

Why This is the Best Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Recipe

  • Flavorful: Skip the boring, bland chicken dinner you had planned and opt for this apple cider chicken recipe instead. Each step of this recipe promotes a tasty chicken, from the seasoning to the searing, and finally, the homemade apple cider glaze. Throw in some fresh herbs and you have a delicious main course!
  • Convenient: Everything is made in one pan, for a seamless transition from the stovetop to the oven and easy cleanup. Make it a one-pan meal by adding some diced potatoes just before baking, and you can have dinner ready in just under 1 hour.
  • Versatile: Make this recipe with boneless chicken thighs, or chicken breasts. Swap, add, or omit ingredients as you see fit in order to customize this dish to your liking.
overhead view of apple cider glazed chicken in a skillet

Apple Cider Chicken Ingredients

Apple Cider Glaze:

  • Apple Cider: Please note that this recipe uses apple cider, not apple cider vinegar. We want the sweetness of juice and not the bite of an acidic ingredient.
  • Soy Sauce: This adds a deep, savory umami flavor to the glaze.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This amps the sweet, savory taste and a distinct tang thanks to the vinegar.
  • Brown Sugar: This adds a warm depth of sweetness to the sauce.
  • Yellow Onion: This adds a depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Garlic: Grate the garlic for more flavors and to elevate the sauce.
  • Fresh Herbs: Use fresh rosemary and thyme.
  • Dijon Mustard: This adds a zesty quality.
  • Fresh Ginger: Use grated ginger for a touch of spice.
  • Nutmeg: This warm spice complements the apple flavors and really adds that fall flavor.
  • Honeycrisp Apple: Using fresh apples amplifies the flavor. Use a large apple for big apple slices.

For the Chicken:

  • Chicken Thighs: Keep the skin on.
  • Seasoning: Season the chicken with salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Avocado Oil: Use this or another oil with a high smoke point to sear the chicken.
ingredients for apple cider glazed chicken

How to Make Apple Cider Chicken

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Season and Sear the Chicken

In a small bowl, mix together the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Season both sides of each chicken thigh evenly with this mixture.

seasoned chicken thighs in a bowl

Heat the avocado oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs, skin side down.

cooking chicken thighs in a skillet

Sear them for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are charred and have a crisp golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

crispy chicken thighs in a skillet

Make Apple Cider Glaze

In the same skillet saute the onion until translucent. Then combine the apple cider, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, rosemary, thyme, garlic, ginger, and nutmeg. Give it a stir then bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

simmering ingredients for apple cider glaze in a skillet
preparing apple cider glaze in a skillet

Add the sliced honeycrisp apples to the skillet then place the chicken thighs on top. Baste the chicken with the glaze then transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the skillet from the oven. Baste the chicken thighs with the glaze. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

close up view of baked apple cider chicken

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Spoon extra glaze from the skillet over the chicken when serving.

Pro Tips

  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for the best flavor and texture. The skin helps create a crispy crust, and the bone adds flavor and moisture.
  • When searing the chicken, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. You will end up steaming the chicken and your skin won’t be crispy. Sear in batches if your pan isn’t large enough.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed skillet, such as cast iron, for searing. It distributes heat evenly and retains it well.

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken: You can make this recipe using any cut of chicken you prefer (chicken thighs, chicken wings, or chicken breasts). Just keep in mind that the cooking time will vary based on which you choose.
  • Apples: Don’t have honeycrisp apples? Try Fuji apples or Gala apples instead.
  • Glaze: Want a thicker apple cider glaze? Make a cornstarch slurry with 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch with a few drops of water and add it to the sauce. This yields a thicker, sticker sauce.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover apple cider chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place it in the microwave. Alternatively, reheat it on the stove over medium heat with a bit of chicken broth.

Common Questions

What should I serve with apple cider chicken?

This meal tastes best with a hearty vegetable side dish like Brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe, or mashed potatoes.

What’s the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Apple cider is pressed fresh apples so it’s darker than apple juice because it retains more of the apple’s natural characteristics, including some of its pulp. Apple cider typically has a richer, more complex flavor with a balance of sweetness and tartness whereas, apple juice is more processed with a lighter flavor.

More Chicken Recipes:

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Roll Ups

Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken

Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Crispy BBQ Chicken Wrap

a skillet full of apple cider glazed chicken

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a skillet full of apple cider glazed chicken

Apple Cider Glazed Chicken

Apple Cider Glazed Chicken is made with seared, juicy chicken thighs smothered with a sweet and savory homemade sauce and then baked to tender perfection. This easy one pan recipe is the perfect entree for a fall meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • cup Apple Cider not apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic grated or minced
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 sprig Fresh Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Honeycrisp Apple large

For the chicken:

  • 4 Chicken Thighs skin on
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • Season the chicken: In a small bowl, mix together the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika. Season both sides of each chicken thigh evenly with this mixture.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and sear them for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are charred and have a crisp golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • Make the glaze: In the same skillet saute the onion until translucent. Then combine the apple cider, brown sugar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, rosemary, thyme, garlic, ginger and nutmeg. Give it a stir and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sliced honeycrisp apples to the skillet then place the chicken thighs on top. Baste the chicken with the glaze then transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Once the chicken is done cooking, remove the skillet from the oven and baste the chicken thighs with the glaze. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Spoon extra glaze from the skillet over the chicken when serving.
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