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    This Crispy Apple Chicken Casserole Is Ultimate Comfort Food

    This crispy apple chicken casserole is made all the better with premium apple cider and makes for a deluxe comfort meal.

    The Whitfields of Loxtonia Cider have a treasure trove of family recipes for the chilliest days. Original Loxtonia Crispy Apple Cider is the stealthy ingredient of their family favourite, braised chicken casserole. Their farm is in the mountainous Ceres region, where snow caps the mountains every winter.

    Loxtonia Crispy Apple Cider deepens the flavours of this hearty casserole. And, it’s made on the farm from ‘orchard to bottle’ with home-grown, 100% freshly pressed and naturally fermented apples.

    The Whitfield family began making premium cider from their own apple orchards in 2013 as a natural progression of their fruit farming venture.

    “Watching the entire process unfold on our farm from the blossom bud turning into an apple in our orchards, to the final product of a natural, premium apple cider, still amazes me every season,” says Ali, head of marketing and part of the family.

    All Loxtonia ciders are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and free of preservatives and artificial additives. Ready to try this crispy apple chicken casserole? Let’s dig in.

    Crispy Apple Chicken Casserole

    Prep Time 15 hours hrsCook Time 1 hour hr

    Course Main CourseCuisine Healthy

    4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs2 fennel bulbs, sliced4 shallots, sliced 4 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 large handful / bunch fresh sage leaves2 tbsp apple cider vinegar1 tbsp Dijon mustard340 ml Loxtonia Crispy Apple Cider2 green apples, sliced125 ml fresh cream ½ bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed & roughly choppedSalt and black pepper, to tasteOlive oil for cooking
    Preheat oven to 180˚C. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large Dutch oven, buffet casserole or cast iron skillet. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season with salt. Sear the chicken thighs skin-side down until the skin is golden brown.Flip and cook until lightly browned on the underside. Set chicken pieces aside on a tray. Add the sliced fennel to the pan with the residual chicken fat and cook until lightly golden on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside next to the chicken. Add the sliced shallots and sage leaves. Season. Cook until the shallots soften and begin to take on some colour. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the apple cider vinegar, mustard and Loxtonia Cider. Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. Add the fennel and the chicken back into the pan and nestle it in the sauce. Dot the apples around the dish. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken thighs are cooked through.Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or baking tray. (You can keep the chicken warm in the oven during the next step – or crisp up the skin under the grill).Bring the braise to a gentle simmer on the stove top. Add the kale and cream. Stir until the kale is wilted and the sauce has reduced slightly. Taste for seasoning. Return the chicken to the pan for serving family style. Serve with good crusty bread for mopping up the sauce and a green side salad.

    Keyword casserole, chicken, crispy apple chicken casserole More

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    You Have To Make This Protein-Packed Shandong Chicken Recipe Tonight

    “Every comfort food dish in every country ultimately comes down to carbs’ n’ sauce,” says Lucy Tweed, author of cookbook Every Night Of The Week. And this Shandong Chicken recipe has this in spades.

    But beyond the carbs n’ sauce you’ll also need protein. Luckily, it doesn’t matter what size chicken you choose so go with what you have, but Lucy tends to veer towards 1.2 kg that she prepares herself. And if you’re up for it, you’ll be doing that too.

    “I like to think that appreciating the food we eat extends beyond simply knowing an ingredient to the handling of it (although I grew up on a working farm so I have had the benefit of experience from a young age). But if it’s not for you, just ask your butcher to do this for you,” says Lucy.

    READ MORE: Umm, These Vegan Pizzas Might Even Taste Better Than The Real Thing

    Make The Most Of Your Meal Prep

    Whether you decide to handle the chicken yourself or you get your butcher to do it for you, we’re going to help you make the most of your meal prep.

    Play one of these podcasts while your chicken cooks in the oven — and learn some mindful strategies while finishing off your meal. Master chef or mindful chef?

    The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

    The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos offers science-based strategies for enhancing happiness and wellbeing. Their “Burnout and How to Avoid It” episode is 39 minutes long; just in time to hear your oven timer go off!

    Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

    This podcast is for anyone who wants to become more self-aware and silence their negative self-talk. Check out the 35-minute episode “Brené with Karen Walrond on Accessing Joy and Finding Connection in the Midst of Struggle.”

    On Purpose with Jay Shetty Podcast

    This podcast features interviews with some of the most insightful people in the world. “Gwyneth Paltrow Interviews Jay Shetty ON: Daily Actions to Build Life-Changing Habits & Training Your Mind to Break Old Patterns” is a must-hear!

    READ MORE: The Flavourful Chicken Club Salad Recipe You Need In Your Life Right Now

    Shandong Chicken Recipe

    “Every comfort food dish in every country ultimately comes down to carbs’ n’ sauce,” says Lucy Tweed, author of cookbook Every Night of the Week and creator of this recipe. And beyond the carbs n’ sauce you’ll also need protein; it doesn’t matter what size chicken you choose, but Lucy tends to veer towards 1.2 kg.

    Prep Time 15 minsCook Time 45 mins

    Course Main CourseCuisine Chinese

    Servings 6 people

    1 Saucepan1 Deep Baking Dish1 Frying Pan
    1 Whole Chicken, spine removed and pressed flat* you can ask your butcher to do this for youSauce125 ml Soy sauce3 Tbsp Honey5 cm Knob of ginger, peeled and left whole3 Whole Spring onions, white parts roughly chopped, green tops reserved for garnish1 Whole Onion, quartered3 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar1 Tbsp Chilli bean paste1 Tbsp Chicken stock powderNoodles2 Tbsp Olive oil2 Bunches Water spinach, cut into 10cm pieces6 Whole Garlic cloves, sliced500 gram Fresh rice noodles (or use dry noodles cooked according to the packet instructions)1 Tbsp Sesame oil
    Preheat the oven to 200°C.Finely slice the green spring onion tops lengthways or on a very sharp angle and put in a glass of iced water so they curl up. Completely unnecessary when it comes to flavour but such a fun accessory.Warm all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan with 125ml water.Put the chicken in a deep baking dish lined with baking paper and pour the sauce over the top.Place in the oven for 45 minutes (and put on a podcast). Lucy puts a piece of foil over hers at about 25 minutes because the skin can really take that self tan look too far! Not tight, just literally rest the foil on the top. Untucked.While that’s happening, get the noodles ready. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the oil and cook the spinach and garlic slivers until the garlic just starts to brown. You can use ordinary spinach as a substitute but it isn’t as silky in texture.Add the rice noodles and 3 tablespoons water to loosen them. Toss this well and dress with the sesame oil.Cut the chicken into pieces to serve. (The hardest bit is the thigh bone but you can leave this part whole if you like. Everything else you can snip at the joint.)Slice the now candied ginger to serve on top, along with the curly green tops of the spring onions.

    Keyword chicken, dinner, healthy More