recipe: autumnal chicken in a cider sauce

The nights are drawing in and the apples are falling from the tree. Queue one of my favourite times of year, autumn, with its hedgerows bursting with berries, bags of windfall fruit and cider festivals! An excuse to stand in a field on a bright autumn day with a pint or two of local cider is always welcome and this recipe makes use of apples in two ways to produce a warming plate of tradition.

It’s simple and satisfying, so give it a go

Serves 2


  • 2 skin on chicken supremes
  • 7 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150ml dry cider
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • Ground white pepper
  • 75 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Heat a pan on a medium heat. Add 10g of butter and a good glut of oil. Lay 5 sprigs of thyme, the garlic and rosemary in the pan. Place the chicken in the pan, skin down. Fry until the skin is golden brown, approximately 5 minutes, then turn and seal the other side.

3. Remove the chicken and herbs from the pan and place in an overproof dish skin side up. Place in the oven and cook until the liquid inside runs clear when cut (approximately 20 minutes depending on size).

4. Lower the heat of the pan. Add the onions and remaining thyme to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add the remaining thyme.

5. Add the flour to the pan and stir through the onions. Cook this for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add the remaining butter to the pan and melt. Add the cider, mustard and white pepper and stir.

7. Remove the thyme stalks if you are able. Add the cream and parsley. Taste and season as needed. Keep an eye on the sauce to ensure it doesn’t boil.

8. Remove the chicken from the oven, serve with sautéed greens and boiled potatoes and cover with a blanket of sauce.

Grab a fork and dive in

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