Chicken Thighs with Apples and Cider Sauce


8    chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
4    cups apple cider
2    tablespoons kosher salt
1    teaspoon black pepper

      Favorite all-purpose seasoning
2     teaspoons canola oil
1     tablespoon unsalted butter
4     small apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1     cup apple cider
1/2   cup half-and-half mixed with 1/2teaspoon cornstarch
      Salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken thighs in a plastic sealable bag. Mix together 4 cups apple cider and salt until it dissolves; add the pepper. Pour cider mixture over chicken thighs, making sure the cider covers the thighs. Seal bag and set in another dish.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry.

Season thighs all over with all-purpose seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Working in batches if needed, place chicken thighs, skin side down, in the skillet and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove and place, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.

Meanwhile, pour off the fat in the skillet or wipe it out. Add the butter and melt. Add the apple slices and saute until they just start to caramelize. Remove apples to a plate. Add the apple cider to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in the half-and-half mixed with cornstarch. Continue heating, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season sauce, if desired, with salt and pepper. Serve the two chicken pieces with apples and a few tablespoons of sauce.

366 calories (50 percent from fat), 20 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 27 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 667 mg sodium, 88 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber.