Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sizzling with a delicious blend of herbs and spices, and then glazed with a rich apple-cider-dijon reduction? Yes, please! These Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs are so delicious and so simple, you’ll make them again and again!
Juicy Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs
Have I mentioned how much I love cooking with chicken thighs? No? Well let me tell you—they are one of my very favorite protein options. You get all the lightness and nutrition of chicken, but thighs, unlike breasts, are extremely forgiving and don’t take any special handling to come out juicy and tender, every single time.
In this chicken thighs recipe, we’re taking a robust blend of thyme or rosemary (your call), garlic and onion powders, and paprika, rubbing it into the chicken, and cooking them up nice and crispy on the stovetop. Then, we’ll be making a beautiful, seasonal glaze of cider and dijon! It’s truly a burst of flavor that will have everyone coming back for more!
For the Chicken:
- Olive Oil: This is for cooking the chicken, so use a light olive oil, as extra virgin doesn’t handle high heat very well.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs: You’ll need one and a half pounds, or about 6 chicken thighs.
- Dried Thyme or Rosemary: Either one provides a pungent, fragrant kick to the recipe. Use what you like!
- Onion and Garlic Powder: Using the dried, powdered form of these aromatics adds a true intensity of flavor with ease.
- Paprika: I love using mild paprika here, but you can also experiment with hot paprika and smoked paprika, if you are feeling bold!
- Salt and Pepper
For the Glaze:
- Fresh Garlic: This recipe uses 4 cloves of garlic, minced, or put through a garlic press.
- Apple Cider: You’ll need 1 cup of good-quality apple cider. This is a great way to use leftovers! Please make sure you aren’t using apple cider vinegar.
- Dijon Mustard: I think Dijon is really good here, but the recipe is adaptable and you can definitely experiment with other mustards that you may have on hand. Each will affect the final taste differently.
- One Fresh Rosemary or Thyme Sprig: To add flavor to the glaze.
- Butter: For finishing the glaze.
- Chopped Fresh Parsley: For garnish.
How to Make Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs
- Season and Cook the Chicken Thighs. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Combine the dried herbs, onion and garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Season the chicken thighs with this mixture, and cook them in the hot oil for 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for 6 to 8 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness – chicken is cooked through when internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
- Make the Glaze. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Add the garlic to the skillet, and cook for 20 seconds. Slowly pour in the apple cider. Add the dijon mustard and whisk everything until well combined. Add rosemary sprig or thyme sprig, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes, to reduce the sauce.
- Finish the Glaze and Reheat the Chicken. Add the butter, and slowly stir it around until it melts. Adjust the sauce for salt and pepper. Then return the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes, to heat through.
- Garnish and Serve!
Tips for the Best Chicken Thighs
- Boneless is Best: While I love bone-in thighs, for this recipe, you need the boneless thighs because they’ll cook more quickly. Bone-in thighs take a longer cook time, and tend to do better in baked dishes.
- Avoid a Chewy Texture: Use a fork and knife to test the final texture of the thighs before you remove them from the heat. If they have a rubbery texture, they probably need a couple more minutes of cook time! If they’re already somewhat dry, remove from the heat immediately, and serve with plenty of sauce to offset the dryness.
- Not Saucy Enough? If reducing the glaze didn’t get it as thick and sticky as you’d like, you can mix up a slurry using a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch and a bit of water. Stir a tablespoon of slurry at a time into the bubbling sauce and whisk for about one minute, until the thickness is how you like it!
- Soup, for Starters: In the summer, I often start a meal with a simple salad. In cold weather, I opt for soup! My Italian Sausage Butternut Squash Soup is a really good choice that’s really healthy, and delicious.
- Rice, Rice, Baby: Sorry, that’s a terrible pun, but this recipe really is amazing with a side of your favorite rice, whether that’s jasmine, plain long-grain rice, or even cauliflower rice!
- Brussels Sprouts: Hey, it’s cold-weather time and that means it’s time for everything brussels sprouts! These Slow Cooker Parmesan Brussels Sprouts are one of the easiest ways to fix the little cuties, and they go perfectly with the bold flavors of the chicken!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate: wrap or cover the leftovers tightly (I like to store them in airtight containers). The chicken and sauce can be stored together, and will keep for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: wrap well or store in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Freeze for up to three months.
- To reheat: first thaw the chicken in the refrigerator (if frozen). Then, place the chicken in a covered skillet or saucepan over medium heat, and cook until heated through. You can also place leftovers in an oven-proof dish and bake at 350°F until heated through.
Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (about 6 chicken thighs )
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or dried rosemary, (choose either)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup apple cider, (NOT Apple Cider Vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig or fresh thyme sprig
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Heat olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet set over medium heat.
- In the meantime, in a small mixing bowl combine dried thyme or dried rosemary (use either one), onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Season chicken thighs with prepared seasoning.
- Add chicken thighs to the hot oil and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Flip over and cook for 6 to 8 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature registers at 165˚F. Cook time depends on the size of the chicken. Also, make sure you're using boneless and skinless chicken thighs.
- Remove cooked chicken thighs from the skillet and set aside.
- Set skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Slowly pour in the apple cider.
- Add dijon mustard and whisk everything until well combined.
- Add rosemary sprig or thyme sprig to the sauce.
- Continue to cook for 8 minutes, to reduce the sauce.
- Slowly stir around the tablespoon of butter until melted.
- Taste the sauce for salt and pepper; adjust to taste.
- Return chicken thighs to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes, to heat through.
- Remove from heat.
- Garnish with parsley.