Cider-Braised Chicken with Apples

Cider Braised Chicken - Dutch Oven Version - Candy Coated Culinista

Cider Braised Chicken – Dutch Oven Version – Candy Coated Culinista

I really love apple cider!. So much so that I could consume a 3 litre bottle of Fresh-Pressed Mulled Sweet Apple Cider in one day if I’m not careful and therein lies the problem. I’m not usually one for sweet things; but I can’t resist apple cider and when I came across a recipe including cider I’m all in. Apple juice has always been my preferred juice of choice and almost any combination of apples and I’m sold. So when I came across this I had no qualms about trying it alcoholic or not.

Slightly altered from Epicurious

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 8 chicken thighs
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ¼ cup Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp canola oil
• 2 red delicious apple, cut into wedges
• ½ red onion, sliced
• 2 cups apple juice
• ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and rub mustard underneath the skin.
3. Using a heatproof skillet heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat and sear chicken skin side down, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes.
4. Turn the chicken and then add apples and red onions around chicken.
5. Add liquid and transfer to oven to roast for about 20 minutes.

Tips
• If you want to make this with alcohol use 2 cup dry white win instead of apple juice. Also if apple cider is in season feel free to use fresh apple cider.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this recipe about one week to early. I thought two weeks into December would be late enough in the season to find apple cider; but it seemed this year apple cider only made an appearance purely for the Christmas dinner shopping schedule. So I had to improvise; which is what I seem to do best in a bind as this turned out great. The original recipe called for putting the chicken in a heatproof skillet and roasting the chicken; but I couldn’t really understand that part as I envision braising on a stovetop in a close container. This is when I split the recipe in half and did half in the oven per the directions and then I put the remaining in my Dutch oven. Personally I like the look of the Dutch oven version more as the sauce didn’t separate and it was creamier. Not to mention the chicken wasn’t as blackened. I’m glad I followed my instincts and split the batch.

Cider Braised Chicken - Skillet Version - Candy Coated Culinista

Cider Braised Chicken – Skillet Version – Candy Coated Culinista

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Pineapple Cider Cocktail

Pineapple Cider Cocktail  - Candy Coated Culinista

Pineapple Cider Cocktail – Candy Coated Culinista

When you are missing the warmer weather like me, sometimes a tropical beverage is in order.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Lime wedge
• 2 tsp ground ginger
• 1 ¼ cup pineapple juice
• 3 oz. Foundry Golden cider, or any alcoholic cider beverage
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 10 Ice cubes

Assembly
1. Run lime around the edge of the glass and dip the glass into the ginger mixture to rim.
2. Pour pineapple juice, Golden Cider, sugar and ice cubes into a blender and blend.
3. Pour into rimmed glass and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Surprisingly I enjoyed this. I was just trying to find a way to get rid of the Golden Cider as I’m really not a fan of it, but this turned out well.

Mulled Cider Spice Caramels

Mulled Cider Spice Caramels - Candy Coated Culinista

Mulled Cider Spice Caramels – Candy Coated Culinista

I love the autumn and the smell of mulled apples, cider and those fall spices. Not to mention when the trees start to change it’s so beautiful. I went back to my culinary weak spot … confections and tried to make some caramels. Candies, confections, fudge are always a hit or miss for me and even when I repeat the same recipe on a different day my results always vary. Today I really wanted to make an autumn candy and I made caramels.

Attempt #1 (Toffee)
Altered from Table for Two blog

Yield/Serving: 64
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Cider Sauce
• 2 tsp mulling spices
• 1 ltr apple juice
• 5 apples (3- royal gala a 2 yellow delicious), chopped and cored
• 2 sticks cinnamon
Mulled Spice
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp ground mixed spice
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
Caramels
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 2 cups sugar
• 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
• ½ cup cider sauce
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 tsp mulled spice

Assembly
Cider Sauce
1. Using a large saucepan pour all ingredients in and boil on medium-high for 10 min.
2. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Let mixture cool in pot for a bit and then pour into a blender and blend.
4. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.
5. Pour the mixture back into saucepan and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. The apples should be reduced down with a concentrated apple taste.
7. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge.
Mulled Spice
1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
2. Store in a spice jar.
Caramels
1. Lightly grease with cooking spray an 8”x8” and then line with parchment paper and let the paper hang over the pan.
2. Over high heat use a large non reactive pot and combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter and cider and bring mixture to a boil.
3. Do not stir and reduce temperature to medium-high heat.
4. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and allow the temperature to reached 248°F. (about 20-30 minutes)
5. Once the mixture has reached the temperature remove pot from heat and stir in the salt and apple spice.
6. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and let stand for 12-18 hours before cutting into 1” squares.
7. Run a very sharp knife under hot water until it warms up to the touch and the spray both sides with cooking spray and cut in a sawing motion.
8. Wrap in wax paper.

Attempt #2 (Caramel or Taffy)
My Own Recipe

Yield/Serving: 64
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Cider Sauce
• 2 tsp mulling spices
• 1 ltr apple juice
• 5 apples (3- royal gala a 2 yellow delicious), chopped and cored
• 2 sticks cinnamon
Mulled Spice
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp ground mixed spice
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
Caramels
• 2 ½ cups heavy cream
• 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• ¼ cup corn syrup
• ¼ cup water
• ½ cup cider sauce
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp mulled spice

Assembly
Cider Sauce
1. Using a large saucepan pour all ingredients in and boil on medium-high for 10 min.
2. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Let mixture cool in pot for a bit and then pour into a blender and blend.
4. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.
5. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. The apple should be reduced down with a concentrated apple taste.
7. Pour into a mason jar. Store in the fridge.
Mulled Spice
1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
2. Store in a spice jar.
Caramels
1. Lightly grease with cooking spray an 8”x8” and then line with parchment paper and let the paper hang over the pan.
2. Over medium heat use a medium non reactive pot combine cream, butter and salt until butter melts and remove from the heat.
3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and cider sauce in a large non reactive pot over medium high heat and stir sugar until it is evenly moistened.
4. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and do not stir the sugar any more.
5. Let the sugar syrup come to a boil without stirring and let it reach around 250°F.
6. At 250°F, whisk in cream and butter mixture slowly as the mixture will increase in size.
7. Stop whisking once all the cream mixture is well incorporated and allow the temperature to reach 245°F to 250°F once again without stirring.
8. At 250°F stir in the vanilla extract and the mulled spice into the caramel.
9. Immediately pour caramel into the pan. (Don’t scrape out any leftover bits in the pot as it the burnt bits you don’t want in your caramel.)
10. Let the caramel set out of the way overnight.
11. Cut the caramels and wrap in wax paper the next morning.

Tips
• Apple syrup reduction can be used immediately or stored in the fridge indefinitely.
• Caramels will keep for two weeks
• Keep an eye on the caramel the temperature increase rapidly and you can go from caramel to a burnt caramel really fast.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Attempt number one came out too hard and to not be wasteful I used the hard caramels as toffee and put them into my signature cookie Date Night . I followed the recipe exactly in regards to the actual caramel recipe, but I changed the mulled spice & and cider sauce recipe to suit my taste and palette more. I preferred to make my cider sauce as I wanted to use pure apple and not a store-bought cider. Other than that the caramel recipes and portions where the exact same and yet my caramel were quite tough.
Attempt number two was much softer and more of a soft caramel or taffy consistency which I found to be easier on my teeth. I added more cream, butter and this consistently was better for me. I will probably make this one more time to get that perfect mix of soft and chewy.

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