This past weekend, my fiancé and my made our annual Apple Picking excursion like we do every fall. I may have taken more (read: all) instagram photos of the fall outing. But both of us work together searching for the best fruit we could find (he grabs all the ones on the tall branches!). And we lugged home a huge bag full of several pounds of apples. I’m so excited to be working my way through them all with tons of new recipes starring these seasonal, tasty fruits.
But it gets better. Visiting the apple farm also means stuffing our faces with apple cider donuts (seriously the best part), and picking up bottles of fresh pressed apple cider to bring home. I love to drink it all season long, as well as find new ways to cook with this delicious juice.
My newest recipe for the season makes use of the bright, tart flavors of fresh-pressed apple cider to make the perfect sauce for braising roasted chicken wings. Apple Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken is quite literally finger-licking good.
Whole chicken wings are marinaded in a sweet, spicy, tangy sauce, starring the apple cider, brown sugar, and a blend of bold, warm spices. Some of that same sauce gets thickened up and then used to baste the chicken in a gooey, sweet glaze as it roasts to perfection in the oven.
The result is juicy chicken with crispy skin, coated in a sticky, caramelized apple cider barbecue sauce. The meat is perfectly cooked and tender. And the glaze on the outside is so good, you won’t even care about the mess you make digging in. Plus, since these wings are baked, rather than deep fried, they make for a much healthier alternative to that Buffalo Wild Wings takeout order. Win-win situation.
This Apple Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken is such an easy recipe to bring together. It’s fun for everyone to eat, and it’s a perfect dish to remind you of all the things you love about fall.
Apple Cider-Glazed Glory
The sweet and tangy Apple Cider barbecue sauce is the star of this dish. It’s used both as the marinade for the chicken ahead of baking, and the glaze that they get coated with while cooking up in the oven.
It starts with a full cup of Apple Cider. You want to use Apple Cider that is as all natural, organic, locally-made, cold-pressed at the source, as you can. No added sugars, spices, preservatives, nothing. Just plain old apples in all their glory, made into fresh cider.
To that, add a few other flavor elements including tomato paste, some ketchup, fresh minced garlic, plus brown sugar and some maple syrup to sweeten things up. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to balance things out. Then come the spices — including onion powder, smoky paprika, some ground mustard, a pinch of earthy cinnamon, and some cayenne pepper (which you can adjust depending on your spice preference).
Whisk all those ingredients together. Then pour just over half the mixture into a large ziploc bag — it will become your marinade. Add in about 2-3 pounds of chicken thighs to the bag. Seal it while pushing all the air out, and then massage the chicken around in the bag until its all coated in the marinade.
Let that sit for at least half and hour to an hour in the fridge. You can also make this marinade in the morning and leave it in the fridge all day until dinner.
Quick note about the chicken. I like to use bone-in, skin on chicken wings for this recipe — the large ones with the drums still attached. They hold so much juicy flavor while they roast up in the oven.
Once you’re ready to get cooking, remove the chicken wings from the ziploc and discard the bag. Lay the chicken out on a foil lined baking sheet and get them into a 400F oven.
Meanwhile, grab the remaining sauce you made earlier, and add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk the sauce again until the cornstarch is totally combined. Then add the sauce to a pot and bring it to a simmer. Once it’s simmer, keep in on the stove over low heat.
After 10 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken from the oven and use tongs to flip them over. Then brush each wing with a generous portion of the sauce. Put the wings back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Repeat this process 3 times until the chicken has cooked for 45-50 minutes total. Each time you take the wings out of the oven, flip them over and baste them with sauce. By the time they are finished cooking, they will be sticky, dark brown and caramelized in some places.
Let the wings cool for a few minutes, then grab all the napkins you can find and chow down!
Let me know if you give this Apple Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Apple Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken
- 2-3 Pounds Bone-in, skin on chicken wings with legs attached
- 1 Cup Apple Cider
- 1 Tbsp Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- Place chicken thighs in a large plastic ziploc bag.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients except for the Cornstarch until combined. Pour just over half the mixture into the ziploc with a chicken. Set the rest of the sauce aside. Seal the bag, removing all the air, and then massage the bag until all the chicken is coated in the sauce. Marinade in the fridge for at least 30-60 minutes, and up to several hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Add the cornstarch to the remaining sauce and whisk well until combined. Add to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the bag and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, flip it over, and brush with the apple cider sauce. Bake for another 40 minutes, removing the chicken, flipping, and brushing with sauce every 10 minutes.