Serves 4-6

  • 4lbs skin-on chicken legs & thighs, trimmed of excess fat  (use Leg Quarters, or your favorite combination of Thighs and Drumsticks)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 firm, sweet apples, such as Gala, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan set over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces, starting skin-side down and flipping once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes per batch.  Add up to 2 tablespoons more oil, if needed.  Transfer the chicken to a large oven proof baking dish and top with the apples and thyme sprigs.  Preheat oven to 375F.

Meanwhile, set the pan you cooked the chicken in over medium heat.  Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped thyme and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.s  Stir in the apple cider and cider vinegar, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan.  Raise the heat to high and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the broth and bring to a boil, then carefully pour the braising liquid over the chicken and apples.  Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Braise in the oven until the chicken is fork-tender, 45-55 minutes.  Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and apples to a serving platter, and let rest.

Meanwhile, if desired, make a sauce by transferring 1 1/2 cups of the braising liquid to a saucepan set over high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until the liquid reduces by two-thirds, 10 to 15 minutes.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve warm.