Apple Cider Chicken – A Family Feast®

This Apple Cider Chicken is tender, juicy, and infused with the delicious flavors of fresh apple cider.
Apple Cider Chicken

When you see fresh-pressed cider at the apple orchard or supermarket, buy a jug – then make this delicious Apple Cider Chicken!
This recipe uses apple cider in two ways – as a brine, and as a braising liquid (which also gets made into a silky pan sauce) – so every bite of this tender, juicy chicken is infused with Apple Cider.
Apple Cider Chicken

How do you make Apple Cider Chicken?

You’ll start by making an apple cider brine. Heat together apple cider, kosher salt, sprigs of fresh rosemary, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and a sliced apple – then bring the mixture to a boil so that the salt completely dissolves and the other ingredients have a chance to meld together.
Next, cool the brine – add ice water to the brine and chill. Once cooled, add bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (bone-in is the most flavorful chicken!) and allow the chicken to brine at least 12 hours, or overnight.
The next day, use a paper towel to pat dry the chicken, then season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Melt butter in a large skillet and add more fresh rosemary to the pan, then place the chicken skin-side down in the pan to sear. Flip the chicken breasts, then pour in more apple cider and allow the chicken to braise until cooked through.
When the Apple Cider Chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan onto a platter and allow to rest, covered with foil.  Simmer the remaining apple cider pan juices until reduced, then stir in some butter to finish the pan sauce.
Strain the sauce, then spoon over your Apple Cider Chicken when serving.
Apple Cider Chicken

Can I make this Apple Cider Chicken recipe with boneless, skinless breasts or other parts of the chicken?

You can certainly use bone-in, skin-on thighs or drum sticks and the timing would be about the same. However if you use boneless chicken, adjust your cooking time down.
Apple Cider Chicken
This Apple Cider Chicken is delicious enough that you could serve it at a fall dinner party. But it’s easy enough that you can make it for a simple family dinner any day of the week.
You may enjoy these other recipes made with apple cider:



4 cups apple cider, divided
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
2 cups ice water
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to sprinkle on chicken before cooking
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons cold butter, divided


The morning of service, or (ideally) the night before, place two cups of cider in a medium sauce pan and add two tablespoons of salt, two sprigs of rosemary, one cinnamon stick, two whole cloves and the sliced apple. Bring to a boil then simmer five minutes. Remove from heat and add the ice water, then let sit until cooled.
Place the four chicken breasts in a gallon zip lock bag and pour in the brine. Refrigerate and let sit overnight or at least 12 hours.
Drain and discard the brine then pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over the tops of each breast.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the oil and two tablespoons of butter along with the remaining two sprigs of rosemary.
Once the butter is hot and frothy, add the chicken, skin side down, and sear until browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the breasts on their sides to brown that as well.
Turn the breasts over (skin up) and pour in the remaining two cups of cider. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the flame to the lowest heat and cook until the internal temperature of the thickest breast registers at least 150 degrees F. Remove to a platter and cover loosely with foil. They will continue to cook as they sit off heat.
Turn the pan heat up to high and reduce the pan liquid to a half cup, about five minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons of cold butter.
Strain and serve over, or with the chicken.

Keywords: Apple Cider Chicken

Apple Cider Chicken

Apple Cider Chicken

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Meet The Author: Martha

Martha is part of the husband-wife team that creates A Family Feast. She loves to cook and entertain for family and friends, and she believes that serving a great meal is one of the best ways to show someone that you care. Martha is a self-taught home cook, who loves to read cookbooks and try new recipes. After a decades-long career in business and online marketing, she now runs A Family Feast full-time. Her specialties are baking, desserts, vegetables and pasta dishes.

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