Apple Cider-Brined Chicken Breasts with Roasted Root Vegetables

Apple Cider-Brined Chicken Breasts with Roasted Root Vegetables
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Apple cider adds a nice acidity and fruity quality to the chicken breasts and helps the skin brown beautifully. Root vegetables are plentiful this time of year, so choose your favorite combo for this one-pan dish.


  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups fresh pressed apple cider, divided
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 cups root vegetables (such as carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga and beets) cut into sticks or rounds
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Mix 3 tablespoons kosher salt, lemon zest, bay leaf, black peppercorns, sage sprigs, black pepper, maple syrup and shallot in a bowl and pour boiling water over all. Stir to dissolve salt and allow it to steep until it has cooled to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Stir in 2 cups apple cider. Add the chicken breasts to a 1 gallon Ziploc bag and pour brine over chicken. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush a large baking pan with olive oil and spread the cut root vegetables in a single layer over the pan. Season with salt and pepper and roast the vegetables for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, discard brine and pat dry. Arrange over the vegetables after they have roasted 10 minutes and return to the oven and roast the vegetables and chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and its skin is golden brown. Stir halfway through roasting time to cook vegetables evenly.
  4. While chicken is roasting simmer the remaining 1 cup apple cider and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan and reduce to ⅓ of the volume until liquid is syrupy. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve with chicken breasts and vegetables. Refrigerate leftovers.
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