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Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs Recipe
Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs Recipe

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4.5 12 10
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“I love the flavor of chicken baked with apples, and when I had a bumper crop of green beans, I wanted to include them, too. This recipe is the tasty result.” —Kathy Rairigh, Milford, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 55 min.
MAKES:5 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 55 min.
MAKES: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Nutritional Facts

2 chicken thighs with 3/4 cup bean mixture : 580 calories, 32g fat (8g saturated fat), 163mg cholesterol, 201mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 4g fiber), 47g protein .

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Place beans and apples in a greased roasting pan. Drain chicken; place in prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 40 minutes.
  4. 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.
Originally published as Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs in Taste of Home June/July 2010, p53

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.


Reviews for Apple-Brined Chicken Thighs

AVERAGE RATING
(10)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (8)
4 Star
 (1)
3 Star
 (0)
2 Star
 (1)
1 Star
 (0)
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MY REVIEW
Summy 174335
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2013

"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. :)"

MY REVIEW
pegbob1750 189653
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2013

"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. :-)"

MY REVIEW
snagcat1995 190618
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2013

"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."

MY REVIEW
realestateroxy 106489
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2012

"This did not work out at all for me. I might however try the brine out again but on a rotisserie"

MY REVIEW
Dianne2706 147293
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2011

"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."

MY REVIEW
Peggywyly 188635
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2011

"Loved it. May brine longer next time. The green beans and apples were very good but would also like to try other vegies. Not hard to make but start early!"

MY REVIEW
sabrina_m_haynes 178954
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2011

"not hard to make, but not worth any of the effort, couldn't taste the apple juice past all of the salt."

MY REVIEW
melodious88 173945
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2011

"We grilled the chicken instead of baking it, and it was great!"

MY REVIEW
dbadair 190612
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2010

"I will definitely marinate the thighs longer next time I make this. It was very good but I felt like it would have had more flavor with a longer marinade time."

MY REVIEW
aug2295 122455
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2010

"This was delicious! I saved the recipe for fall, with in season apples and end of season green beans and yum, top notch. The chicken was moist and flavorful and I agree that the recipe was easier than it seems although you do have to start earlier than usual, so probably a weekend meal."

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