Ready in 35 minutes
• 75g butter
• 8 skinless chicken thighs
• 6 shallots, halved
• 4 celery sticks, chopped
• 300ml apple juice (or cider)
• 300ml good-quality fresh chicken stock, hot
• 200ml crème friache or sour cream
• 4 eating apples, such as Cox’s or Braeburn, cored and cut into wedges
• 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives, to serve
- Heat 50g butter in a roasting pan and brown the chicken thighs all over, turning as needed. Add the shallots and celery and cook for a few minutes. Pour over the apple juice and stock and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then lay a piece of parchment on top and cover tightly with foil and cook for 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced. Stir in the crème fraîche or sour cream and bring just to the boil, then simmer for 1 minute.
- Heat the rest of the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the apple wedges and fry for 5 minutes until lightly colored. Stir the apples into the chicken. Sprinkle with some chopped chives and serve. This is great with French beans, broccoli and mashed potato.
Freeze any leftover cooled casserole, then defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat at 180C/fan160C for 30 minutes until piping hot. Cooking this in a roasting pan helps save time when browning the chicken, because you can do it all at once rather than in batches. Keep it tightly covered with foil during cooking, though.