Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs

I came across this recipe several years ago, but the word 'brined' scared me right away.  I had no idea what that meant and it seemed much too complicated for me, so I just skipped right over it.  But during the last holiday season, I heard so much about how amazing a brined turkey was, I knew I had to try it.  So after learning that brining is actually really nothing more than marinading your meat in a mixture full of salt,  I brined myself a turkey, and it turned out great!  So when I re-discovered this recipe the other day, and I saw that 'brined word',  I knew I could handle it.  The original recipe instructed to throw some beans into a roasting pan before nesting the chicken thighs amongst them and cooking it all together.  I cooked this up for our Sunday dinner last week, took it out of the oven, staged my pictures and then grabbed a green bean to do my taste test.  I could have cried...they were horrible!  They weren't completely cooked, but that was the least of their issues.  The flavor was just dreadful and so strong and it was tough for me to even choke them down.  So as we sat down to dinner, I gave my husband the cautionary warning that this dinner was probably a major fail.  Then we each took our first bites and it turns out there was nothing to be worried about!  We were so very pleasantly pleased with the chicken!!  It was not only super simple to prepare, but it was some of the most amazingly flavorful, tender and delicious chicken I have ever made!  I was so glad that the awful beans were not a pre-cursor to the rest of the meal.  My whole family loved this chicken!  Even my non-eating children ate this!  This is a definite must-make again...without the beans....definitely no beans. 

Apple Brined Chicken Thighs

3 cups apple cider or juice
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium lemon, sliced
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns (I just used 1 teaspoon pepper because I didn't have any)
2 cups cold water
10 chicken thighs (original recipe said bone in...I used boneless with fantastic results!)
1 2-gallon resealable plastic bag
3 medium tart apples, cut into wedges
1 Tablespoon minced fresh Rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a pot, combine the cider, onion, lemon, rosemary sprigs, salt, 14 cup brown sugar, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.  Remove from the heat; stir in water.  Cool brine to room temperature.
Place chicken in the 2-gallon resealable plastic bag.  Carefully pour cooled brine into bag.  Squeeze out as much air as possible, seal bag and turn to coat.  Place in a roasting pan.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a roasting pan.  Place apple wedges in greased roasting pan.  Drain chicken and place in prepared pan  Bake, uncovered for 40 minutes.
Combine the minced rosemary, oil, pepper and remaining brown sugar.  Sprinkle over chicken. Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees.  Discard apples and serve chicken. 

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Taste of Home

I am linking up at these fantastic blogs!


  1. Looks terrific! I always like sharing good recipes with my readers. I am pinning this one. Stop by and link up at my Foodie Friday party too.

    1. Thank you! I stopped by your blog and linked up! Thanks for inviting me over!

  2. These look amazing! I am your newest follower, and found you via 'Weekend re-Treat Party'. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Angie G.

    1. Thank you Angie! And welcome! I am going to hop on over to your blog right now and check it out! Have a great weekend!

  3. Mmmm, this looks really good, too! Brining makes things so tender and yummy!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Real Family Fun!

  4. I am wishing I had some of this to eat right now... YUM! xoxo~ Ruthie

  5. I just wrote this one down on my list of things to try :) And I will leave the beans out, I promise!

    Thanks for sharing at my weekend link party @The Weekend re-Treat!

    Hope you have a fantastic week!

  6. This looks yummy. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday and we hope that you will join us next week.


  7. this looks wonderful. I actually use a brine similar to this for my turkey. I'm going to make this. Question, did the recipe not say to rinse the brine off the chicken before you cook it?

  8. Looks and sounds delicious. I love chicken thighs and are always ready for a new way to bake them.

  9. This looks fantastic. I'm not a fan of baked chicken thighs, but my husband is. I bet with this brine I'd absolutely love them!

    I'd love if you'd come join my How To Tuesday link party, too.

  10. This chicken sounds good. Thanks for the warning about the beans. I have never brined anything and I thought it would be time consuming or hard! Now I will give it a try.

    Thanks for linking up to the In and Out of the Kitchen party. I look forward to seeing what you bring next week!

    Cynthia at

  11. Haha! This looks great, but at first glance, I thought it said Brained... what a goober! Pinned! Thanks for sharing at Two Cup Tuesday at Pint Sized Baker! Hope to see you there again on Monday night!

  12. Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue on the topic of this article here at this website, I have read all that,
    so at this time me also commenting here.

    Feel free to surf to my web site ...

  13. We are a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our
    community. Your web site provided us with useful information to work on.
    You've performed an impressive process and our entire neighborhood might be thankful to you.

    Here is my website - Buy Coffee Pure Cleanse


I love hearing from my readers! I read every single comment and I really appreciate them! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a wonderful day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...