This week Jessica and I took a trip to Bold Rock Cidery in Nellysford, VA. This place is like Disney World for grown ups. It’s beautiful there and the cider is delicious! I have been hooked on their Virginia Draft for a while now, I can get it at my local grocery store. The fact that it’s made less than 30 minutes from my house is just the icing on the cake. If you ever take a trip through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, this is a must see location. They recently opened a new tasting facility. This place was built to host parties. It’s huge and the view is amazing. I see many weekends there in my future.
The cider is made with apples from Virginia and Maryland, many from right there on their own property. They will also be releasing a pear cider in November. I CAN NOT wait!.We’ve spent many beautiful Virginia days at local vineyards and are so excited to have another excellent option. There is a huge lawn which I know my daughter will love running around on. The best part? I can get a growler of Virginia Draft!
So, with our fun trip to Bold Rock we decided we wanted to incorporate some hard cider into a recipe. With the holidays coming up, many people are looking for a fantastic main dish they can serve as an alternative to roasting a whole turkey. A beautiful roast chicken is always a great option, especially for smaller families and dinner parties. While turkey leftovers can be the best part…when you have 5 pounds of turkey to re-purpose…it can get a little hard to get through it all.
The apple roast chicken is a recipe that we’ve been testing for over a year. In the past, we always made it with regular apple cider, but a Bold Rock Virginia Apple was in order for this time. It worked out great! The cider gave the chicken and gravy a slightly sweet apple flavor that had us licking the saute pan. We will definitely be making it this way from now on.
In our first few tests, we had trouble getting the skin to brown evenly. We decided to cut the apples for under the skin in thin discs, which made a huge difference. We also switched up the seasoning on the outside, adding a little salted organic butter to get that beautiful brown color.
This chicken would be great with our Honey Roasted Sweet Potato and Parsnips or the Cranberry Apple Chutney. Also, you could try it this weekend as a warm up to get your palate ready for fall flavors. You could use any hard cider if you are no lucky enough not to have Bold Rock nearby like me.
Local Ingredient: Local organic chicken and Bold Rock Hard Cider.
5 lb organic chicken
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
¼ cup cranberries (optional)
1 ½ cups hard apple cider
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1 stick of butter, softened
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Rinse the chicken. Stuff the chicken with ½ Fuji apple *Quartered) and ½ the yellow onion.
- Cut the other half of the Fuji apple into thin slices. Place the slices under the skin of the chicken.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, patting it into the skin. Take the butter and smear over the chicken, making sure the top and sides are well coated. You can even put a little butter under the skin to help the chicken stay moist.
- Quarter the remaining ½ onion and put it in the bottom of a roasting pan. Cut the remaining Fuji apple into chunks and add it to the pan as well. Next, add the carrot to the bottom of the pan. Finally, pour the hard apple cider into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Place the chicken on the rack in the roasting pan.
- Bake the chicken at 425 degrees F for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting halfway through. If the skin begins to brown too quickly, tent the chicken for the remainder of the cook time.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it and the vegetables from the roasting pan and place on a serving dish.
- Pour the remaining pan dripping in a sauce pan. Add ¼ tsp arrowroot powder at a time and cook over medium high heat until thickened, whisking constantly. Serve gravy with the chicken.
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Arrowroot is the same thing as cornstarch, correct?
They are not technically the same thing, but they are both a thickening agent. You could replace the arrowroot powder here with cornstarch if you don’t have the arrowroot. We haven”t tested it with cornstarch, but I think the proportions should be pretty similar. I’d maybe use a little less then add more until its the desired consistency if replacing the arrowroot powder with corn starch. The taste should be the same. The arrowroot creates a glossy thick gravy and the corn starch does the same but adds a bit of creaminess.
Let us know how it goes!