Fresh thyme works the best for this apple-y dish, but if you don’t have any on hand, dried thyme will work too. Feel free to adjust this seasoning to your taste, as thyme has a distinct flavor and aroma. My family doesn’t care for a strong kick of the spice, so I keep it to a minimum. You can add as much as 1 tsp of dried, however, if you love the flavor. The combination of apple cider and apple cider vinegar gives this apple cider chicken thighs recipe the powerful apple flavor I was looking for, which makes it a favorite dish in the fall months.
- 3 pounds chicken thighs, boneless or bone-in
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Golden Delicious or Jonagold apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1-2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or ¼-1 tsp dried)
- Place the chicken in a slow cooker, and season it with sea salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the shallot, garlic, sliced apple, and bay leaf over the chicken.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Cook the chicken on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, ladle some into a small pan and simmer it over medium heat until reduced by half, and then serve over the chicken. Doing so thickens the sauce nicely and concentrates the flavors.