Delicious French-inspired chicken dish, with leeks and apples. A special dish, but it's also ready in less than an hour!
1mediumapple(I used Cortland)
6skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1cuphard cider*(or 1/2 cup regular apple cider/1/2 cup white wine)
2fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
1/2cupheavy (35%) whipping cream(or a lighter cream mixed with 1 tsp. or so of cornstarch)
Additional salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Prepare the leeks: cut out the white and light green section of the leek, discarding the bottom stem end and the top green part (or reserving for another use). Cut each section in half from top to bottom, then cut in to 1 1/2-inch long pieces. Place in a strainer and rinse well under cold water, tossing to loosen and clean. Set aside to drain.
Quarter and core the apple, then slice in to thin slices. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and stir to coat. Increase heat slightly and saute until golden. Remove to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat oil over almost medium-high heat. Pat chicken thighs dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in hot skillet, skin side down. Cook until golden (about 8 minutes), then flip and cook the other side until golden. Remove chicken to a baking sheet (foil lined and greased if you like, for easy clean-uand place in to pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes (20 minutes for smaller thighs up to 25 minutes for larger).
Meanwhile, remove all the fat from the skillet and discard. Melt 1 Tbsp. over medium heat. Add prepared leeks and cook, stirring, until starting to brown. Add the 2 Tbsp. of flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the reserved apples, the hard cider, chicken broth and thyme sprigs. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is done.
When chicken is done, remove from oven. Increase heat under sauce to medium-low. Add heavy cream and remaining apples and stir to combine. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning, by adding salt and pepper, as necessary. Add chicken pieces, skin side up, taking care to keep the chicken skin un-covered by sauce, so that it remains crispy. Allow chicken to cook in sauce for a few minutes, just to marry the flavours a bit.
Serve garnished with additional fresh thyme leaves.
Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!