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One Pot Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions. Slow-cooked chicken in apple cider with fresh herbs, sweet caramelized onions, and mushrooms. If you’re looking for a cozy fall meal to make, start with this saucy braised chicken. All made in one pot, simple to put together, and totally delicious. Serve with warm bread and a side of wild rice and say hello to cozy fall nights.

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

Fall starts on Thursday, but per usual our fall here in the mountains has fully set in. Most of you know that we’ve had some chillier days and our leaves are beginning to show pretty shades of yellow and orange.

I love every bit of it and am trying my best to soak in the season. For us, here in the mountains, it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Our fall is fast and furious, warm days, chilly nights, and always beautiful.

I’m embracing the shorter days and colder nights with cozy dinners. Every year like clockwork, I make some sort of braised chicken. But this one is special and hands down my favorite of the bunch. It’s the onions combined with sweet, spiced apple cider. The pair together really do make for a wonderful saucy chicken.

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

The story is pretty simple.

I based the recipe pretty closely off my cider braised short ribs. We absolutely loved that short rib recipe last year. I made it multiple times throughout the fall and winter. But it’s still September and the days just don’t require short rib dinners yet.

I wanted something a little lighter and a little quicker cooking for weeknights.

Of course, the thought to swap-in chicken came to mind pretty quickly and sounded delicious. I changed up a few things, adding mushrooms into the mix, and using a quicker cooking method.

It’s truly wonderful and so simple to make.

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

The details

Start with the chicken. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts. My family is pickier and will not eat the skin. Though I’m sure it would add a lot of flavor to the dish!

Dredge the chicken through some flour, then give it a sear in a big, oven-safe pan. I only sear one side of the chicken since we just need one side crispy for the oven.

Pull the chicken out, add some butter, then toss on the onions. Start to slowly cook the onions down. I like to add a splash of apple cider to help the onions cook down a little quicker.

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

When the onions have reached a light gold color, toss in the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and sage. I let the mushrooms cook for a minute, then pour over the remaining cider and wine. If you don’t drink wine, chicken broth is a great substitute.

I usually add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, then transfer the whole dish to the oven to braise low and slow.

Now I cooked this at 400 for a quicker time, but you can definitely reduce the heat to 325° and cook for 1-2 hours for a real low and slow braise. Either works great, it just depends on how much time you have.

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

I’ve been serving this with a side of homemade beer bread and wild rice pilaf – so good!

You must make the beer bread, it’s delicious with the savory-sweet cider pan sauce.

This is a wonderful Monday night dinner that’s easy enough for any night of the week. It’s certainly sure to become a family favorite. I can’t wait for Creighton to try this, I know he will love it.

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other slow-cooked fall recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

30 Minute Coconut Milk Braised Chicken

Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken

Autumn Braised Chicken Escabèche with Roasted Apples and Grapes

Cider Braised Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions

Red Wine Cranberry Braised Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pasta

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Lastly, if you make this Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 421 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

Stove-Top

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
    2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then rub with flour to coat. Heat a large oven-safe skillet with sides over high heat, and sear the chicken on 1 side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
    3. Add the butter and onions and cook 5 minutes, until softened. Add a 1/2 cup apple cider, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking another 5-8 minutes, until the cider has evaporated and the onions are lightly golden. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and sage, then add the chicken back to the pot. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups cider, and wine. Roast for 30 minutes or until the chicken is falling apart. Watch the sauce, if it begins to thicken too much, cover the dish.
    3. Serve the chicken with wild rice pilaf and bread. Drizzle with any remaining pan sauce and onions. Enjoy!

Crockpot

  • 1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then rub with flour to coat. Heat a large Dutch Oven over high heat, and sear the chicken on 1 side.
    2. To the bowl of your crockpot, add the butter and onions, then place the chicken over the onions. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, sage, apple cider, and wine. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
    3. Serve the chicken with wild rice pilaf and bread. Drizzle with any remaining pan sauce and onions. Enjoy!
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Cider Braised Chicken with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Hmm… this didn’t reduce as I hoped/thought it would and therefore, I think the flavor was off, a little too sweet, and not as balanced as I hoped for our palates. However, I do see the recent comment about having to reduce this on the stove. My concern there is.. the chicken and onions were cooked to perfection, so I’m not really sure how to move forward..? This wasn’t bad, but for us, it certainly has the potential to be better. I would prefer the sauce to lightly glaze the chicken and rice rather than being a very thin broth. As far as taste, well, palates are personal, so I think when making this a 2nd time, I’ll even out the distribution of broth to cider, add a little cider vinegar, and go a little heavier on herbs and pepper.

    Help please. 🙂 How can I make the sauce slightly thicker without cooking the onions and chicken until they break down? Perhaps a little cornstarch slurry? Thanks!

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Sure, a cornstarch slurry would definitely work to help thicken the sauce:) My intention for the sauce was never for it to be super thick. Let me know if you give that a try! xT

  2. The flavor was fine but disappointed the dish was so runny and gravy was never that savory brown color in photo. Onions were not really caramelized. It seems like the recipe doesn’t actually produce what is in the photo.

    1. Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. I can promise the instructions that are written is how I made the recipe:) xx

    1. Hey Jason,
      Love to hear this! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your feedback! Happy Tuesday! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Incredibly delicious! I increased it to 8 servings so it took longer to get some good carmelization on the onions and I roasted it for 15 extra minutes at 400 since we prefer thicker sauce and wanted the chicken very tender. We served with mashed potatoes and it was just an outstanding Fall meal!

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      You can leave the lid off. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  4. 5 stars
    A fantastic fall chicken dish. The mix of boneless breasts and skin on thighs works perfectly. My adult children gave it a 10. Thank you Tieghan!

    1. Hey Thomas,
      Thanks so much for your kind message and giving this recipe a try! I am so glad it was enjoyed by your family! xTieghan

  5. Where does the caramelized onions come in to play? For stovetop, you can’t achieve caramelized onions by cooking for 5 minutes. I’m making in the slow cooker and there was no browning of the onions before liquid went in the cooker. So it’ll be soft cooked onions, not caramelized onions. There is no brown coloring going on inside the slow cooker; nothing like the photo.

    1. Hi Jo,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! If you need to allow extra time for the onions to caramelize on the stove top, you should definitely add that! For the crockpot, yes the onions will cook down differently, but that is what should be expected when using a crockpot, you are using it for the convenience and the deliciousness that comes from cooking the dish all day! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Served this with some sautéed shredded cabbage for a lower carb option and it was delicious! Will definitely be making again!

  7. 4 stars
    Flavor was very good. Used chicken breasts. Served with mashed potatoes. Cooked it in the oven 10 extra mins but the sauce never thickened up – went back and reread recipe to make sure I followed everything correctly. Any idea why sauce never thickened up? Or what I can do next time to thicken sauce up? Thank you!

    1. Hey Sheri,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for trying it out! Next time, I would allow the sauce to simmer on the stove until your desired thickness. xT

    1. Hey Emilie,
      Totally, fine to skip them:) I hope this recipe turns out well for you, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Spot on delicious! It took a few extra minutes to caramelize the onions, but no other changes. Cooked it at 350 for 90 minutes and it was fork tender. Very happy eaters!

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Happy Monday!🎃 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xx

  9. Well here I go gonna try the recipe, I’ve read the recipe several times and all the comments, no one mentioned oil to sear the chicken in so I’m just going to wing it.

  10. 5 stars
    Made this last week for a family gathering. I used my large skillet for the initial steps but then decided to transfer to my Dutch oven, as I doubled the recipe. Planning on making it again this week when my sister comes to visit. I think it’s going to become one of my go-to recipes. Think I’ll substitute mashed potatoes for the rice next time, only because I like to change things out occasionally.

    1. Hey Linda,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear that your family enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it! Have a great Sunday! xx

  11. 4 stars
    Flavor was very good. The sauce is very runny, so I had to cook a while longer on the stove to reduce. Sauce was not nearly as dark as pictured, and I browned the chicken thoroughly. I think next time I may leave the caramelized onions out until the final plating because the look pale in color after soaking in the cider while cooking. Will make again, maybe just a difference in technique.

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear you didn’t love the dish, let me know if you give it another try! xx

  12. This was yummy and it’s definitely a must to serve with rice and bread. The flavors of the sauce totally remind me of eating French onion soup! The only substitution I made was swapping just organic apple juice for the cider since my store didn’t have any. After reading the comments I would braise it lower/longer to get a thicker sauce. (Also – great tip in the comments to cook the mushrooms separately to get their water out.)

    1. Hey Sydney,
      Happy Sunday! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan