Spring Chicken with Cider & Garlic - Vigo Presses Ltd
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Spring Chicken with Cider & Garlic

Cider can substitute for white wine in a host of different recipes. This one is a simple but very delicious combination. The long slow cooking of the garlic in cider sweetens and softens the pungency of the garlic.


  • 1 Free range/organic chicken
  • 8-10 cloves garlic per person – remove the loose outer skins
  • 900ml dry cider
  • 1 level tblsp cornflour
  • 2oz/50g softened butter
  • Salt & pepper/seasoning to taste Optional: 1 dessertspoon of homemade cider, crab apple or redcurrant jelly


  1. Put the whole cloves of garlic in their fresh inner skins into the bottom of a large casserole.
  2. Season the belly of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken on top of the bed of garlic and pour in the cider.
  4. Cook in a moderate oven for about 2 hours until the chicken is tender and the skin bronzed.
  5. Whilst the chicken is cooking, pound the cornflour into the softened butter.
  6. Once cooked remove the chicken to a hot dish.
  7. Skim any excess fat from the cooking liquor.
  8. Add walnut sized portions of the flour and butter to the liquor and stir gently over a simmering low heat. This will thicken the sauce – it may be necessary to reduce the liquor a little.
  9. Check the season again adding salt and pepper to taste.
  10. If desired add a little homemade cider, crab apple or redcurrant jelly to enhance the flavours.
  11. Serve the chicken with a good portion of the soft sweet cloves of garlic and the cider sauce.

This recipe is very easy and simply delicious when accompanied by fresh spring vegetables like new potatoes, new, fresh carrots and purple sprouting broccoli spears and of course a glass of your own home-produced cider.

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