Apple-Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs

  • Yield: 4 servings


2tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2pounds chicken thighs, skin removed (bone in)
-- Kosher salt
-- Freshly ground black pepper
-- Flour, for dredging
1large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2-- bulbs fennel, cut into thin strips
3-- apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin strips
2cups apple cider
2tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4cups chicken stock
1teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 1/4cups quinoa
1 1/2cups water
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
1/3cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1/3cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2tablespoons butter
-- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
-- Apple slices, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 5-quart casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dust with flour. Add the chicken in batches to prevent crowding and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Remove with tongs to a plate.

Add another tablespoon oil, onion, and fennel and cook for 5 minutes. Add apples, 1 1/2 cups apple cider, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Add the chicken thighs back in, placing them in a single layer if possible. Cover with a lid and braise in oven until tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, add quinoa, water, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Add in dried cranberries and toasted walnuts; stir to combine.

Remove chicken with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer to a platter. Keep warm.
Skim any fat from the surface. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the liquid and return to the dish; reduce. Add lemon juice and butter and stir until incorporated. Place quinoa on individual plates (or platter). Place chicken on top of quinoa. Spoon sauce over the chicken. Garnish with rosemary and apple.

Makes 4 servings.