Chicken Thighs with Apples
“If you’re not used to cooking with chicken thighs, this is a great recipe to get you familiar with using them. Often chosen because they stay juicy when cooked, are versatile, and are budget-friendly, the thigh is a darker meat than the breast and contains more fat, and therefore, flavor. The fat content of a chicken is mostly from monounsaturated fat, one of the heart-healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats help to lower LDL cholesterol – the so-called “bad” cholesterol – and provide vitamin E, an antioxidant. These fats are also found in olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds. Keep portion size in mind, as even heart healthy fats can be high in calories if overeaten.
I love that this recipe features apples and apple cider, two fall favorites in abundance here in Western New York. Choosing local produce and products like cider from nearby farms not only helps the economy, but ensures you get the optimal nutrition by limiting the time from when the apples were picked, which keeps more of the nutrients in tact. Produce that has to travel over miles and is subjected to temperature changes, handling, packaging, etc. loses nutrients over time. For a fun family activity that gets you outside and active, you can even pick your own!”
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 3/4 cup apple cider plus 3 Tbsp apple cider
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (gluten free if needed)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
Preheat the oven to 300°.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken.
Lightly coat an ovenproof skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and cook until just browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the apples and carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring. Add 3/4 cup of the apple cider, the broth and honey and bring to a boil. Add the browned chicken thighs. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
Transfer the chicken, apple pieces and carrots to a platter. Return the skillet to the stove, and bring the liquid remaining in skillet to a boil over high heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons apple cider and the cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the liquid in the pan and cook until liquid thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and pour sauce over chicken and apples. Garnish with sage.
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Saturated Fat: 2g
* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content
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Date Last Reviewed: February 6, 2017
Editorial Review: Judy Capodanno, Health eCooking Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
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