When you're craving a down home old fashioned kinda' meal, then chicken's the one to go to. Last night's version started with a whole bird that was earmarked for Sunday's dinner but the cook(s) ran out of steam. No matter, because it tasted darned fine last night.
I cut the chicken in quarters using my trusty kitchen shears because in my opinion they work much better than a knife for this particular job. I took the back bone right out by cutting down each side which isn't hard to do; however, remember to cut about a half inch away from each side of the spinal column or you'll end up with a bunch of little iddy biddy back bone bones in your chicken pieces. I should know because I didn't listen to my own advice but I will next time because it's pretty good advice (from a fairly reliable source). Ha.
Anyway, the quarters were seasoned well with lots of salt and pepper, then dredged in flour and browned on all sides then removed from the pot. An onion, garlic cloves and thyme hit the pot until the onions were softened, then I added a bottle of Woodchuck Amber Cider along with a little chicken stock, and re-introduced the chicken. After an hour uncovered in the oven, I flamed the bird with some warmed Apple Jack brandy and finished the sauce with a touch of instant blending flour to thicken it along with some cream for richness.
Served with a parsnip/potato mash and some broccoli slaw loaded with cranberries, pecans, Granny Smith apple and a maple mayonnaise dressing, it was a hit on the homefront. Don't you love when that happens?
Roasted Chicken Quarters in Hard Cider Sauce (from JBug’s Kitchen inspired by Helen Brody’s New Hampshire: From Farm to Kitchen)
1 2-1/2 to 2 pound chicken, cut into quarters
Kosher Salt and coarse ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bottle hard cider (I used Woodchuck Amber)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup apple brandy (I used Apple Jack)
2 tablespoons Wondra instant blending flour (more or less as required)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Wash and dry chicken quarters and season well with salt and pepper. Place flour into a zip bag and add chicken pieces one at a time, shaking to coat and shaking pieces to remove excess flour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add butter and olive oil and when hot, brown dredged chicken pieces on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, garlic and thyme to pot and cook, stirring constantly until onion is softened – about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cider and chicken stock and return chicken to pot, arranging it in a single layer. Bring to a simmer then place pot in oven and roast chicken, uncovered for 1 hour or until very tender.
Remove pot from the oven and place on low heat. Microwave brandy for 5 to 6 seconds to warm slightly and carefully pour over chicken, lighting with a match. When flames no longer glow, remove chicken from pot to a platter and keep warm.
Increase heat to medium and whisk flour into sauce to thicken to desired consistency. Whisk in heavy cream. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as required. Serve sauce with chicken. Makes 4 servings.
A year ago - Holiday Ideas for Turkey Phobics
Two year's ago - Lemon Chicken Wings