Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce

This easy one pan chicken and potatoes recipe is perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner but also good enough to make for company. It’s both comforting and elegant, with a nice balance of creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet elements. The star of the dish is the cider cream sauce that when paired with lean chicken breast seriously levels up the flavor!

Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce

An easy one pan chicken and potatoes recipe that’s sophisticated enough for company!

Made with hard cider, crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, bacon, and fresh thyme, the Chicken Normandy-inspired cider cream sauce is truly the star of the dish. The chicken is pan-seared until it is golden brown and tender and finished in the oven alongside baby potatoes and shallots in the flavorful sauce.

The sauce is rich and creamy, with a subtle sweetness from the hard cider and light tanginess from the crème fraîche that really livens up basic kitchen staples like chicken and potatoes. The shallots and bacon provide additional layers of flavor and the fresh thyme adds a subtle herbiness that complements the other flavors perfectly. The dish is also incredibly easy to make, as it only requires one pan, making cleanup a breeze.

For more seasonal fall inspired recipes be sure to try our fall harvest chili with squash and sweet potato, our hearty roasted carrots and parsnips salad, our spicy-sweet maple sriracha brussels sprouts, and our simple Italian roasted vegetables.

chicken with potatoes and shallots in a cider cream sauce in large skillet

What is hard cider?

Hard cider is an alcoholic beverage traditionally made from fermented apple juice. It is similar to beer in terms of alcohol content but has a distinct flavor profile that is influenced by the type of apples used and the fermentation process. Hard cider can be sweet or dry and can range in alcohol content from around 4% to over 10%.

Hard cider has a long history here in the Pacific Northwest, dating back to the region’s early days of settlement by European colonizers. The region’s abundant apple orchards made it a natural fit for cider production, and it quickly became a popular drink among early settlers.

In recent years, hard cider has experienced a resurgence in popularity, with many craft cider makers producing high-quality ciders using a variety of apples and flavorings. The Pacific Northwest is home to a thriving hard cider industry, with producers in Oregon, Washington, and other states creating a wide variety of ciders using locally sourced ingredients.

Carton of Bellwether Farms creme fraiche and bottle of 2 Towns Ciderhouse Super Bad Apple hard cider
Bellwether Farms crème fraîche and 2 Towns Ciderhouse “Super Bad Apple” hard cider

What is crème fraîche?

Crème fraîche (“fresh cream”) is a type of French-style cultured cream that is made by fermenting heavy cream with a bacterial culture, similar to the process of making sour cream. The resulting crème fraîche has a thick, velvety texture and a rich, decadent taste due to its higher fat content and it is less tangy compared to sour cream. It is often used as a versatile ingredient in cooking and baking, as it can add texture and richness to a wide range of dishes, from soups and sauces to desserts and pastries.

Crème fraîche is a popular ingredient in French and European cuisine, but it has become increasingly popular in other parts of the world as well. While you can find crème fraiche in most parts of the United States, it can be hard to get in some grocery stores. Look for it in small tubs in the dairy aisle, near the cream cheese and sour cream.

Chopped bacon for Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce recipe
Chopped bacon.
Chopped potatoes and shallots for Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce recipe
Sliced baby red potatoes and shallots.

Ingredients for Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce

Here are the main ingredients with some pro tips and potential substitutions:

For the chicken and potatoes

  • Chicken breasts – two large boneless, skinless breasts cut in half horizontally into 4 thinner cutlets. You could use thighs instead, but I would recommend pounding them to an even thickness to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Thick-cut bacon – for salty smoky flavor that adds depth to the sweet richness of the sauce. Can be omitted if preferred.
  • Baby red potatoes – no need to cook a separate starchy side dish! The potatoes and shallots are first pan-fried and then finished in the oven with the chicken and sauce. You could substitute pretty much any other type of potato if you like.
  • Shallots – I like to cut them into larger slices for this dish. You can substitute regular onion in a pinch, but you will lose the subtlety that shallots bring to the sauce.

For the cider cream sauce

  • Hard cider – I recommend a dry or semi-dry variety for this recipe, you don’t want it to be too sweet. For this recipe I’ve used 2 Towns Ciderhouse’s “Super Bad Apple” made from apples grown in the Pacific Northwest. But I would encourage you to explore using a local cider produced near you. Some popular cider brands available nationwide are Woodchuck, Schilling, and Angry Orchard.
  • Chicken broth – vegetable broth would work as well.
  • Fresh thyme sprigs – adds an earthy, herbaceous note that nicely complements the other flavors in the sauce. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you could substitute in about a teaspoon of dried thyme. Rosemary could also work as a fine substitute.
  • Corn starch – to make a slurry in order to thicken the sauce.
  • Crème fraîche – makes the sauce extra decadent and delicious. But if you can’t find it or are trying to keep costs down, heavy cream is a fine substitute. The crème fraîche made by Bellwether Farms and Vermont Creamery both work wonderfully in this recipe.
  • Dijon mustard – another classic flavor component to add complexity to the rich, creamy sauce.
golden brown fried chicken breasts in skillet
A light dusting of flour helps give the chicken breasts that crispy golden coating on the outside without overcooking.

Step-by-step instructions

*For full recipe with ingredient portions, scroll down to the recipe card below.

Brown the chicken

  • Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to create four evenly thick cutlets.
  • Season with salt and pepper on both sides and then lightly sprinkle with flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook without moving until well browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the cutlets and cook until browned, about 30 seconds longer. Remove from pan and set aside.
Chopped bacon fried in a skillet

Fry the bacon

Fry the bacon in the same skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 tablespoons of the grease in the pan, and set aside.

Now go ahead and start preheating the oven to 375°F.

Browned baby red potatoes and shallots in skillet

Fry the potatoes and shallots

Next, fry the potatoes (cut-side down) and shallots in the bacon grease about 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes (flipping as needed to evenly brown).

potatoes, shallots, hard cider, creme fraiche, and fresh thyme in skillet - process shot

Make the sauce and then finish the dish in the oven

  • Add cider and chicken broth to the skillet (medium-high heat) along with fresh thyme sprigs.
  • In a small bowl, stir to dissolve the cornstarch in a tablespoon of stock or water to make a slurry. Then, add slurry to the skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Turn off heat and stir in bacon, crème fraîche, and Dijon mustard.
  • Nestle the chicken cutlets among the vegetables and sauce.
  • Then, place skillet in preheated oven and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.
  • Remove thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate immediately, spooning sauce over the chicken and potatoes to serve. Otherwise, the sauce will start to congeal as it cools.
chicken with potatoes and shallots in a cider cream sauce in large skillet

Serving Suggestions

  • Side dish. Since the dish already includes a starchy vegetable there’s no need to make a separate starchy side dish. However, you might consider serving it alongside some additional vegetables like:
  • Beverage pairing. The cider used in the sauce is the obvious choice, but an aromatic white wine with a bit of acidity made from:
    • Chardonnay,
    • Pinot Gris,
    • Riesling, or
    • Chenin Blanc should pair nicely.
    • More specifically, I recommend:
      • Riesling or Pinot Gris from Alsace,
      • a white French Burgundy or Vouvray,
      • or a buttery California Chardonnay.
    • Sparkling wine or champagne could also work.
    • If you prefer a red wine, California or Oregon Pinot Noir should pair well.

Let me know if you tried making this recipe or if you have any questions in the comments below!

More delicious Maplevine Kitchen recipes to try!

chicken-and-potatoes-in-cider-cream-sauce-on-a-plate

Chicken and Potatoes in Cider Cream Sauce

Hard cider, crème fraîche, bacon and fresh thyme team up to make a deliciously creamy, tangy sauce that when paired with lean chicken breast seriously levels up the flavor in this easy one pan chicken and potatoes recipe.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Servings 4
Calories 755 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the chicken and potatoes

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1.2 – 1.4 lb/600-700g total
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon chopped
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes cut in half or quartered depending on size
  • 4 shallots peeled and quartered

For the cider cream sauce

  • 2 cups hard cider
  • 1 cup chicken broth low-sodium
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme plus additional leaves for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 5 oz crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to create four evenly thick cutlets.
  • Season with salt and pepper on both sides and then lightly dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat oil in a large oven proof skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook without moving until well browned on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the cutlets and cook until browned, about 1 minute longer. Remove from pan and set aside.
    golden brown fried chicken breasts in skillet
  • Fry the bacon in the same pan over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring as needed to cook evenly. Reserving 2 tablespoons of the grease in the pan, remove bacon and set aside.
    Chopped bacon fried in a skillet
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Next, fry the potatoes (cut-side down) and shallots in the bacon grease about 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes (flipping as needed to evenly brown).
    Browned baby red potatoes and shallots in skillet
  • Add cider and chicken broth to the skillet along with fresh thyme sprigs.
  • In a small bowl, stir to dissolve the cornstarch in two tablespoons of stock or water to make a slurry. Then, add slurry to the skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Turn off heat and stir in bacon, crème fraîche, and Dijon mustard.
    potatoes, shallots, hard cider, creme fraiche, and fresh thyme in skillet - process shot
  • Nestle the chicken cutlets among the vegetables and sauce. Try to keep the thyme sprigs submerged in the liquid or they might burn in the oven.
  • Cook uncovered in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until potatoes are softened.
  • Remove thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate immediately, spooning sauce over the chicken and potatoes to serve.
    chicken-and-potatoes-in-cider-cream-sauce-on-a-plate

Recipe Notes

  • Chicken – choose large-sized chicken breasts, so that each breast is enough for two servings. If using thighs, its best to pound them to even thickness so they cook evenly.
  • Hard cider – I recommend a dry or semi-dry variety for this recipe, you don’t want it to be too sweet.
  • Crème fraîche – makes the sauce extra decadent and delicious. But if you can’t find it or are trying to keep costs down, heavy cream is a fine substitute. 
  • Storage and leftovers – the dish is best served immediately as the sauce will start to congeal as it cools. It can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat gently using the microwave (take care not to overcook the chicken). 
 
*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 755kcal | Carbohydrates: 64.6g | Protein: 54.9g | Fat: 23.1g | Saturated Fat: 11.4g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 640mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18.6g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword chicken breast, potatoes, shallots
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