One of my favorite ways to prepare meats (especially in the winter) is by braising. When braising any meat you first want to sear the meat at a high temperature to lock in all the delicious juice (but not cook all the way through). Then the meat is submerged into a liquid and cooked slowly.
I like to experiment with different braising liquids, though broth, stock, and wine are the most common liquids. The following recipe uses apple juice with some wine and bourbon for addition flavors. I typically add something with an alcohol content because it helps some of the liquid to evaporate and the sauce will thicken as a result.
Apple Juice Braised Chicken
–onion, roughly chopped
–fennel bulb, ends trimmed, center core removed, sliced
–1 cup dry white wine
–1 cup apple juice or cider
–2 TB bourbon
–2 green apples, cored and sliced
Trim any fat off of chicken, rinse and pat dry. Season with garlic salt, pepper and paprika.
In a large deep-sided skillet that has a well-fitting lid, heat a quarter-sized dollop of olive oil over medium high heat. Sear both sides of chicken (2-ish minutes each side). Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same deep-sided skillet, turn the heat down to medium and add the onion, garlic, and fennel. Cook for a few minutes until veggies begin to brown and/or get translucent.
Nestle the chicken back into the pan. Cover with the apple slices. Pour in the apple juice, wine, and bourbon. Turn heat up to high and allow liquid to come to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute.
Cover with the lid and turn heat down to simmer. Simmer for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Liquid will reduce and sauce will thicken some. I’ve also had success adding in sliced potatoes and/or quartered brussels sprouts when I was craving starch or veggies. I suggest serving over brown rice!