My dear mother used to make chicken in cider when I was but a fresh, young thing; I have many memories of enjoying this when growing up. It is easy to cook and provides a lot of pleasure. You will need:
4 top-quality chicken thighs
250g un-smoked streaky bacon cut into 2cm long pieces
250g characterful mushrooms chopped into slices
2 large onions finely chopped
1 litre good, dry cider
1 tablespoon Marigold vegetable stock powder
A couple of tablespoons of butter
Fry the mushrooms in half the butter until they are soft, transfer them to a stew pot. Fry the onions in the remaining butter until they just start to colour, then transfer them to the stew pot. Fry the bacon bits until they are cooked, add to the other cooked ingredients in the pot. Quickly fry the chicken thighs so the outside is just cooked, transfer to the stew pot. Add the vegetable stock powder then the cider. Bring the stew gently to simmering temperature, then leave it to simmer over the lowest heat that has the surface quivering, you don’t want it boiling too fiercely or the meat will dry out and go stringy. Let it simmer for a couple of hours then serve with rice. My mother used to thicken the cider sauce with corn flour, which you are more than welcome to try, but I don’t think it adds anything to the experience.
That was indeed a totally awesome dish. I haven’t had it for years, and perhaps ought to see about trying to make it.