Apple Cider Baked Chicken

‘Tis the season for apple cider…and apple cider recipes!

After making these delicious caramel apple cider cookies earlier this month, I thought it would be fun to make some sort of main dish with my favorite homemade apple cider.  So after picking up some simple (and very inexpensive!) ingredients, I ended up with this amazing apple cider baked chicken recipe!

It only takes about ten minutes to prep (perfect before work in the morning), and then after marinating all day, you just pop everything in the oven.  And voila!  This simple and healthy dish — celebrating the goodness of baked apples, chicken, potatoes, lemons and herbs — will be ready to go.

(And did I mention that your home will smell absolutely amazing?!?)

Definitely a fantastic meal to bookmark for apple cider season!

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Apple Cider Baked Chicken

Love apples and chicken? Then you are sure to love this Apple Cider Baked Chicken recipe! Blend your easy dinner favorites with the flavor of the season.


1 large onion, peeled and cut into eighths
1 large lemon, sliced into thin rounds
2 cups apple cider, homemade or storebought
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6-8 chicken legs or thighs
2 large apples, each sliced into eighths
1 lb. small, red or Yukon Gold potatoes, halved


Place a gallon size heavy-duty zip-top bag into a large bowl. Place the onion and next 10 ingredients into the zip-top bag, combining well. Add the chicken to the marinade. Close the bag, place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting pan skin-side up. Pour all of the marinade, including onions and lemons over and around the pieces. Tuck the apples and potatoes around the chicken. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through to re-coat everything with the marinade.

Arrange chicken and potatoes on a platter and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

Adapted from the U.S. Apple Association.

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Ali’s Tip:

Feel free to add some mushrooms, red peppers and/or other favorite vegetables to this!


Adapted from the U.S. Apple Association.

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75 comments on “Apple Cider Baked Chicken”

  1. Total comfort food and I love a one pot meal! Especially one that you can prepare in the morning and throw together just before dinner. What a lovely combination and perfect for fall.

  2. Bet this would be awesome with a pork loin too! Thanks for posting!

  3. That. Looks. So. Good. I’m. Freaking. Out. A. Little. Bit.

  4. What kind of apple would you recommend? Looks great !

  5. Looks so delicious and easy to make!

  6. Made this last week. The smell was awesome but the taste didn’t really live up to my expectations :( It was a bit too sweet and the potatoes was just not really necessary. If I had to make this again, I would omit the potatoes.. thicken up the sauce and make it a bit more savory and serve it with rice.

  7. I made this and it was delicious, but a little too sweet. I think I would up the cider vinegar next time to give it more contrast. Also, it didn’t look nearly as pretty as yours! My apples turned to mush, and I had to throw the potatoes into the oven by themselves to cook a little more. All in all, I’d say it was good, but maybe I did something differently than you. :(

  8. I made this dish for my fiance and we both loved it!! It was wonderful – the perfect meal for a crisp fall day. Thank you for sharing!!

  9. I made this last month and loved it. I could not get enough of the baked lemons. My largest pan is 9×13, which is not large enough, so I cooked my potatoes separate and added them at the end. I don’t know if everyone else loved it as much I did, but I’m going to make it again this weekend away.

  10. I know it might be a little late in the season for this dish but I had to try it and it was definitely good. I used my cast iron skillet, just like in the picture, that thing is amazing, I love it! Any way, I followed the recipe exactly as posted except that I doubled the apple cider vinegar because I’m a vinegar fan and I wanted to taste it a bit more. All in all this is a great recipe, nice mix of flavors and perfect to prepare the night before or in the morning and fix for dinner later on.

    Yum, thanks!

  11. Oh my god, yum!! I have to try this. Thanks

  12. when the meal goes into the oven should it be covered? Thanks

  13. I am trying this recipe but crock potting it… Let you know how it turns out

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  18. I was searching for chicken and apple cider recipes, and came upon this one. I thought it sounded great…but it ended up being a decidedly disappointing meal. I had halved everything as I was just cooking for myself, WAY too much liquid to add to the roasting pan (I removed most of it about 20 minutes in). And I actually *did* cook the chicken for about 1 hr, 15 min. as the recipe originally suggested (I had ticked up the heat and shortened the cooking time). But if all that liquid had remained in the roasting pan, the chicken skin wouldn’t have browned nor would have the potatoes.

    I didn’t get much of an apple cider and/or lemon flavor from either the chicken or potatoes, although the potatoes absorbed some of the liquid and had a bit of flavor. But the chicken was very moist. But I won’t be making this again, I’m afraid.

  19. This is so, so good! The combinations of flavours is nice and refreshing. It’s my two year old’s newest favourite. She was begging for more! An added bonus is that your kitchen smells awesome after cooking. Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. I used 2 bone in chicken breasts (cut in thirds) because that’s what I had. I smelled good, but My family couldn’t taste all the flavors in the marinade, it just tasted a bit sweet and a tad bitter from the lemon.

  21. Really want to try this one.

  22. In the picture it looks like you used an iron skillet. Was that for the picture or did you bake the chicken in the skillet?

  23. I followed the recipe exactly. The chicken roasted perfectly in an 8″x13″ glass pan, uncovered. All the liquid made it so that it wasn’t as brown as roast chicken usually gets, but the chicken did turn out incredibly moist. Couldn’t taste the apples in the meat much at all, but a lot in the potatoes – so much so that my husband jokingly said he couldn’t tell if he was eating a potato or a really soft apple. If I make this again, I will probably leave the potatoes out altogether. Still a nice alternative to my usual olive-oil-and-lemon routine.

  24. We found this very bland!

  25. Made this the other night while hubby was on post for CQ duty. Thought it’d be a nice, easy, HOT, meal to drop off for him during a 24 hour shift. It went really well! Various reports of this being a bit too sweet made me add some balsamic vinegar (just a splash, really) to the mix before I put it in the oven. I also cooked halfway then stirred to spread the marinade (really I just flipped each piece over for a minute then flipped them all back. My pan wasn’t really deep enough for stirring.) Then, when I put it back in, I cranked the oven to 375 to get a nice carmelization on the tops of the chicken. That worked out rather well! I still had TONS of liquid when finished cooking. But that could be from omitting the apples and potatoes which would probably drink up quite a bit of the liquid. Oh! And I substituted Simply Apple for Apple Cider since it’s a little out of season. I think that also helped with cutting down the sweetness.

    Served over rice with some roasted carrots. Was yummy!

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  27. I would like to know if you can use other pieces of chicken in this recipe? Such as breast or wings?
    Thank You

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  29. I tried this recipe today after finding it on Pinterest. It looked so good but the outcome was surprisingly bland. There was far too much liquid and the potatoes also had to be cooked on a pan in the oven by themselves after the chicken was done. Maybe adding more vinegar would add some flavor?

  30. What a wonderful recipe. I just saw it on Pinterest. Will be re-pinning this. I love how you braised the chicken in apple cider. I can just imagine how good this tastes.

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  33. This looks so good! Very seasonal and super easy!

  34. Not very good. It smelled very good but after marinating all day, the dish had very little flavor.

    • same here! and my potatoes were still hard after an hour and 15 minutes of cooking. I was very disappointed. Kinda glad I wasn’t the only one with this issue.

  35. Going to try this tonight! By the looks of the comments I’m only going to use one cup of cider (in my case apple juice), double the vinegar and add a few extra cloves of just crushed garlic as well. I’m not using apples and I’m hesitant on the potatoes.
    Hope it turns out as delicious as it looks!

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  38. Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs?

  39. This was delicious! I will definitely make it again

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  41. I made this tonight using a dutch oven and only apple juice (from my juicer) instead of apple cider. I topped the dutch oven with veggies and cooked for 1h15min. It came out delicious!
    The vegetables had more flavor than the chicken, but the chicken had a great texture.
    I then just let some excess liquid boil off after I cooked it, as I put extra water in the pot to cover the meat and veggies before putting it in the oven.

    Also, I processed the onions in a food processor to make a paste which I mixed in with the other marinade ingredients.
    My hubby loved it.

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  47. I was just wondering if you had a substitute for mustard? My partner absolutely hates mustard but this recipe looks like something we’d both enjoy.


    • Hey Grace! You guys could try horseradish or wasabi, to get the kick and similar flavor the Dijon brings. Hope that helps — let me know how it works out for you!

  48. This was so tasty and easy to make too! I took out the potatoes, because those aren’t my jam, but the recipe still came out perfectly! Thanks for posting this!

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