Chicken in Cider with Apple Mash and Green Beans

If you're looking for a seasonal recipe to feed your family for around £5 try this comforting chicken in cider served with apple mash and crunchy green beans. Slow cooking chicken in cider creates tender, flavoursome meat which falls off the bone. Less expensive cuts such as chicken legs, thighs or drumsticks are ideal for this dish. Take off the skin to cut the fat content.

Onions, garlic, thyme, mustard and cider make a lovely, rich sauce packed with flavour. Adding a little cream balances the acidity of the cider, but you can use a splash of milk. All the alcohol from the cider evaporates during cooking, so kids can also eat it too.

Apple mash, which is simply a mixture of mashed potato and apple, is the perfect side dish in the autumn when apples are abundant. However, you can make it into a speedy one pot by adding a bag of new potatoes at the same time as the cider.

This recipe will be featured on The Paul Ross Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Berkshire, 19th October 2013.

Chicken in Cider with Apple Mash and Green Beans

  • Serves: 4

  • Time: 20 mins prep + 1 hour cooking

  • Cost: £1.34 per serving

  • Calories: 744 per serving


For the chicken in cider:

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying

  • 2 medium onions, sliced thinly

  • 4 chicken legs or 8 chicken thighs / drumsticks, skin removed & fat trimmed

  • 440ml dry cider

  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (to taste)

  • 1 chicken stock cube

  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Boiling water

  • 1 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in around 60ml water

  • 2 tablespoons of double cream

  • Thyme to garnish (optional)

For the apple mash:

  • 750g white potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and diced

  • 15g butter

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the green beans:

  • 320g frozen green beans

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. You will need a large saucepan with a lid or lidded casserole dish which can go on the hob. Heat the oil and fry the onions for 4-5 minutes until soft. Place the chicken pieces in the pan cook for around 3 minutes on each side until brown all over.

  2. Add the cider, mustard to taste, stock cube, thyme and garlic to the pan. Give it a good stir so the mustard dissolves in the cider and everything is well distributed. Bring to the boil and then immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Pour over enough boiling water so the chicken is submerged. Cover and leave to simmer for around 50 minutes or until the chicken is tender and comes away from the bone easily when you insert a fork.

  3. While the chicken is cooking make the apple mash. Place the potatoes and apples in a large pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Add the butter and milk and season to taste. Mash until smooth and keep warm until ready to serve.

  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Bring the liquid in the pan to the boil and add the cornflour mixture stirring constantly for a minute or so until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and stir through the cream. Return the chicken to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.

  5. Place the green beans in a pan of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, toss in the olive oil, season and serve.