Natural Grocers Cider-Braised Chicken and Cabbage Served with Balsamic Green Beans

Inspired by a traditional Irish pub dinner, this recipe employs cider and chicken stock to create wonderfully moist chicken thighs. The savoy cabbage braised with the chicken adds texture with a tender crunch while the addition of currants gives the dish a subtle sweetness. Served with balsamic-infused green beans, this dish brings a complexity of flavors on a chilly fall or winter evening.

For the cider-braised chicken and cabbage
4 bone-in Mary’s Chicken Thighs, skin on
2 tablespoons Natural Grocers Brand Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups shredded organic savoy cabbage, (about half of a small head)
4 cloves organic garlic, peeled and crushed
  organic carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large organic onion, ends trimmed, peeled, and thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Organic Dried Currants
2 tablespoons minced organic flat-leaf parsley , (or 1 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons chopped organic rosemary, (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Real Salt and Organic Ground Black Pepper , to taste
3 Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Organic Bay Leaves
1 cup organic chicken stock or broth
1 cup hard cider, (or sub 1 cup organic apple cider plus 1 tablespoon Natural Grocers Brand Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
For the balsamic green beans
1 (10-ounce) package Natural Grocers Brand Organic Frozen Green Beans
  teaspoon Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Garlic Salt
2 teaspoons organic balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  1. For the chicken and cabbage: Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.  
  3. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for about 4 minutes, until the skin is crispy and lightly browned. Flip the chicken and cook until lightly browned on the other side, 3-4 minutes. When done transfer to the prepared baking dish (see step 4).
  4. While the chicken is browning, evenly cover the bottom of a large (9x13) baking dish with the shredded cabbage. Scatter the garlic, carrots, onions, currants, parsley, and rosemary evenly over the cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Make four “nests” for the chicken thighs to nestle into the vegetables. Once the chicken is lightly browned, place each thigh, skin-side up, in a nest and tuck the bay leaves by the chicken thighs. Pour the broth and cider over the vegetables. To ensure crispy chicken skin, make sure the skin is not submerged in the braising liquid. If it is, move some cabbage and onion under the thigh to lift the skin above the liquid. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken easily falls off the bone.
  5. For the green beans: About 7-8 minutes before the chicken and cabbage have finished cooking, without wiping it out, place the skillet the chicken was cooked in over medium-high heat and add the frozen green beans. If needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet prior to adding the green beans, using caution to avoid splattering oil when adding the frozen beans to the hot skillet. Spread the green beans out evenly in the pan, let cook for 1 minute, stir and spread the beans out evenly again, allowing to cook for another minute before stirring. Season with the garlic salt and balsamic vinegar, toss together, and cook for another 2 minutes until they are lightly charred, but still slightly crisp and green. Stir and toss as needed until they are done, sautéing for a total of 4-5 minutes. Once done, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit until ready to serve.
  6. Once the chicken and vegetables are done, remove the baking dish from the oven. Dived the braised cabbage and vegetables among four dinner plates and place one chicken thigh on top of the vegetables. Add a serving of green beans to each plate and spoon braising liquid over chicken and vegetables as desired. Enjoy!