Recipe: Chicken with Cider & Tarragon

Here’s another easy, scrumptious chicken dish – the combined flavors are unexpectedly good. Serve it piping hot with some fluffy mashed potatoes – perfect for cold blustery days, or on any day where you want to eat something really delicious.

Here in the US, cider as we Brits know it, goes by the name of ‘hard cider’. This differentiates it from the apple cider that’s a cloudy non-alcoholic juice available in supermarkets over here. It’s very good as a drink but isn’t right for this recipe.

You’ll need the real deal containing alcohol and even though the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process, the end result is worth it.

I use Costco’s organic chicken thigh fillets and organic red delicious apples but if you’re over there in ‘Blighty’, make it with Cox’s orange pippins. Sadly, those most magnificent apples aren’t available here.

Chicken Braised with Cider, Tarragon & Apples

Chicken Braised with Cider, Tarragon & Apples


(Serves 4)


1 pint / 500ml of (hard) cider

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 teaspoons of ground allspice blended with a little finely ground sea salt

1½ oz / 40g butter

2 red delicious (or Cox’s) apples, cored and cut into wedges

½ lb / 250g of button mushrooms (brown or white), cleaned and sliced

½ oz / 15g of fresh tarragon, stalks removed and shredded

4 tablespoons of heavy cream, crème fraiche or sour cream


Start by bringing the cider to a boil in a pan; turn it down to a simmer and reduce by half – set aside.

Rub the chicken thighs all over with the allspice and salt.

Melt half the butter in a deep sided sauté pan (with a lid, or create one with heavy foil); sauté the apples and sliced mushrooms until golden; set aside and keep warm.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Pour the reduced cider over the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

Add the mushrooms and apples to the chicken along with the tarragon and cream. Give it a good grind of black pepper and more salt if necessary.

Heat through very gently for another 5 minutes and serve with mashed spuds to soak up the wonderful sauce.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
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4 Responses to Recipe: Chicken with Cider & Tarragon

  1. Gilly B says:

    Try this recipe with pheasant if you can get ! Lovely.

    • Only when I’m in the UK – pheasant in the US isn’t hung long enough to develop that unique gamey flavor and tenderness – you try it and report back or save me a brace for my next visit and I’ll make it for you – a slight twist on ‘Faisan a la Normande’!

  2. Donna Harper says:

    Looking forward to trying it.

  3. Sue Ellen says:

    This sounds so good… think I will try it.

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