- 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
- 2 cups cold water
- 10 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3-3/4 pounds)
- One 2-gallon resealable plastic bag
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
- 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 Dutch oven, combine the cider, onion, lemon, rosemary sprigs, salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until 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.
- Place beans and apples in a greased roasting pan. Drain chicken; place in prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 40 minutes.
- Combine the minced rosemary, oil, pepper and remaining brown sugar; sprinkle over chicken. Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 170°-175° and beans are tender. Yield: 5 servings.
This recipe pairs well with a light white wine.
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Reviews for Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs
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I only used the brine for this recipe. I brined skinless chicken thighs for 6 hours. I didn't have rosemary (though I love it), so I substituted about a tablespoon of beau monde seasoning. I also use organic bay leaves. I don't typically buy organic foods, but the organic bay leaves are so fresh, and impart a wonderful flavor in anything that I cook. I put the chicken thighs in my smoker for about 3 hours. They were moist, tender, delicious...with a delicate apple flavor.
Tonight I'm going to brine some thick pork chops over night and put them in my smoker. This time I'm using fresh rosemary, a wee bit more salt, and I pricked the pork all over. Oh, and I think maybe my chicken had more apple flavor because I used frozen apple juice and only added 2/3 of the water recommended. And, for smoker enthusiasts, I used mesquite chips, though I also have some Jack Daniels chips that are wonderful, but I misplaced them in the throes of moving. :)
Loved this recipe. Did make a few changes tho. We don't like rosemary so we substituted with 1 tsp of thyme. Also no fresh lemons so used I 2 1/2 tbs of lemon juice and no peppercorns so I used 1 1/2 tsp of black pepper. I didn't cook it with any veggies only the apples for fear that the veggie flavor would get into the chicken and the kids would have issues. So I just served veggies on the side and my kids ate it with no complaints. :-)
Did the recipe neglect to remove the salt by rinsing under cold running water? I can't imagine why you would leave all of that salt in the chicken. Just a thought.
This did not work out at all for me. I might however try the brine out again but on a rotisserie
I love this brine. I have used it on pork and chicken and it adds so much flavor that you don't even need anything else.