Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

I had a phenomenal weekend. Kramer and I hosted a party at our apartment, which I think was our most successful one yet. We made tons of food, most of which will end up on the site in the coming weeks, and managed to squeeze about 25 people into our 600 square foot Brooklyn apartment (somehow). I love any excuse to spend an entire day cooking followed by an entire night of listening to old 90s music, drinking beers, and eating, but I digress (in fact, most of the photos I posted after the cut are of me eating – surprise). I hope that we get to throw another one soon.

Another exciting bit of news: Knorr has asked the ladies of The Knorr Four to continue creating new and exciting recipes for the next two months of 2012. I have to say, I’m so excited! I was pretty bummed when I had to say goodbye, but I’m thrilled that I get to keep coming up with fun, easy to make dishes for Knorr alongside Southern Hospitality, Sweet Basil, and What We’re Eating. You can check out the recipes I’ve made in the past for Knorr here, but in the meantime, let’s get on with the new, shall we? Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I think that this Apple Cider Chicken is a simple, romantic dish that can be prepared by just about anyone; you definitely don’t need any special tools or ingredients, just some tasty apple cider, shallots or onions, and some chicken breasts. The juice and stock reduce as the chicken cooks, and produces a lovely, slightly sweet and tangy sauce that is perfect for serving alongside your favorite vegetables, rice, or bread. You don’t need to go out for Valentine’s, and who would want to, what with the crowded restaurants and overpriced prix fixe menus? Stay in, whip up this romantic little dish, and enjoy some quality time with your loved one.

Party in the kitchen.

My friend Emily and me – we went to preschool together in Chicago, and we both ended up in NYC. What are the odds?

I definitely have food in my mouth here – what else is new?

Kramer, keeping an eye on the festivities.


Pat, Matt, and Morgan, who are all involved in The Untitled Webseries – coincidentally, there is a new episode up today, so check it out!

Morgan and his brother, PJ.


Kramer’s sister, Rachel, and our friend, Janise, laughing it up.

Me harassing Rachel – she’s such a good sport.

It’s not a party without a group photo, right?

This is what my face always looks like when Kramer is behind the camera.

Your ingredients.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Sear your chicken on both sides in butter over high heat, until golden. Set aside.


Add your shallots to the pan, along with an additional tablespoon of butter, and cook until caramelized. There will be lots of brown crust on the bottom of the pan, but that will come off when you add in the cider.

Add in the thyme, fennel, and red pepper flakes, followed by the cider. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half.

Add in the chicken stock and vinegar, and bring to a boil.

Add the chicken back to the pan, then place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or so, until cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Cook the sauce over high heat for 10 minutes or so, until reduced, then add the chicken back in, heat through for a few minutes, and serve.


Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Shallots
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken stock

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat in a large ovenproof pan and season your chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken well on both sides, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan, place on a plate, and set aside.
  2. Melt another 1 tablespoon of butter in your pan over medium heat. Add in your sliced shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are browned and nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add in the fresh thyme, fennel, and red pepper flakes, stir for 30 seconds, then add in the apple cider. Cook for 20-25 minutes over medium heat, until the cider has reduced to about half, stirring every so often so that the shallots don’t burn to the bottom. Add in the stock and vinegar, bring to a boil, and add the chicken back to the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, place on another plate, cover, and set aside. Place the sauce over high heat and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until it has reduced. Add the chicken back to the pan to heat it through quickly, then serve with plenty of juices and caramelized shallots on top. I served this alongside some steamed broccoli, but some bread to sop up the sauce is delicious, too.


33 Responses

  1. Jane M says:

    Looks like a fun party! Good food too! I love the L.O.’s the next day from a party – if there are any!

    • Sydney says:

      We have lots of beer, haha, and some hummus, pita chips, and good cheese that I used to make grilled cheese, but that’s it, believe it or not! I wish there had been more, but I suppose it’s a good sign to have everything eaten up.

  2. Kim says:

    That party looks like it was extremely fun; makes me want to start considering having people over, myself.

    And that CHICKEN. Apple cider and chicken, my God, why have I never thought of that? I can’t wait to try this. And I might also have to try it with boneless pork chops.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Glenda says:

    Oh what fun, to be young again! Looks like your party and the food went off smashing!

  4. Susan says:

    How do you make and eat such yummy foods and stay so thin?? lol!

    How would I triple this recipe? I think my family would love it!

    • Sydney says:

      Just triple all the ingredients and increase your cooking time by maybe 15-20 minutes on each step (it will take longer to reduce the sauce, especially).

  5. katie says:

    these photos are so fun and lovely. nothing brings people together quite like a good meal. cheers to that! this recipe looks phenomenal — will definitely be trying it soon.

  6. Deanna B says:

    That party looks so fun! And apple cider chicken? Oh my God, yes please.

  7. Mandy says:

    Looks fantastic! What size skillet do you have? I’m definitely going to invest in one for more dishes like this :)

  8. Anthony says:

    Nineties music is old? Now I feel ancient… ;)

    This dish looks tremendous and, you’re right, dead simple. One question: doesn’t butter tossed into a high-heat pan burn almost immediately?

    Still, think I’ve found Friday night’s entree. :)

    • Sydney says:

      I just mean music of the past, not old – nothing makes me happier than alt 90s rock music (hahah). The butter definitely cooks fast, but my stove’s heat isn’t hot enough to burn it immediately, and it’s more for a buttery flavor on the chicken’s skin that it is for anything else – it’s nice to have a bit of browned bits stuck to the bottom of your pan, too.

  9. This looks delicious….just in time for maple syrup time, too.

  10. melissa says:

    I ran across this from pinterest and found your blog. I made this tonight and it was really so delicious. I’m quite picky too. This is definitely going to be a recipe I come back to again & again- thanks!

  11. Kate says:

    This looks awesome, can’t wait to make it! I was wondering though, using the Knorr stock do you add water to it before adding to the dish (to make the 2 cups)? or because it’s concentrated you just add it as is?

  12. Holly says:

    This looks great- do you think it would work well with pork tenderloin too? That’s what I have in the fridge at the moment. Thanks for the ideas as always!

  13. Tiffany says:

    I just made this for dinner tonight, it was incredible!!!! My one year old loves it! Thank you for the recipe. I’ve already passed it on to a few family members.

  14. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Made it last night for family with some smashed red potatoes and some sauteed spinach and it was a huge hit! My aunt is a picky eater and even she loved it. Instead of slow cooking the chicken in the sauce, I made the sauce ahead on my day off. Then I cut my breast pieces down into cutlets and browned them in the pan right before serving. I was able to throw this together in 30 minutes, which on a weeknight is a miracle dinner. Keep up the great work!

  15. Katerina says:

    So easy and tasty! Made it last week, all my family members loved it!!
    I’ll make this amazing chicken recipe again and not once!
    Thank you!

  16. [...] dinner menu:  Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Shallots, Potato and Squash Mash, Spinach Salad with Roasted Golden [...]

  17. […] boring chicken breasts into a dish full of flavor. Check out the recipe for Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Shallots courtesy of Sydney on her Crepes of Wrath […]

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