Roasted Cider Chicken


I’m in an apples and honey frame of mind these days because the Jewish High Holidays are coming. So next Wednesday night, when Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown, my family will be snacking on slices of apples dipped in honey. Just like my family did when I was a kid. Just like other Jewish families do and have been doing for generations.

It wouldn’t be Rosh Hashanah without that. 

But besides the usual apples and honey snack, I like to make food that has apples and honey in it. Like this Roasted Cider Chicken, which I will probably make for dinner the first night of the holiday. 

Roasted Cider Chickenwith Apples and Honey

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 roasting chicken, 5-7 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons softened margarine or vegetable oil 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and quartered

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the cider, honey, cloves and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid has reduced to one cup. Discard the cloves and ginger. Set the liquid aside. Rinse and dry the chicken. Place it on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub the chicken with the margarine or vegetable oil (or butter if you are not kosher) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Place the chicken breast side down on the rack. Scatter the onion in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Roast for 30 minutes. Pour the reduced cider over the chicken. Roast for another 30 minutes, basting the chicken once or twice, then turn it breast side up. Place the apples in the pan. Roast for another hour or so, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 160 degrees F. Baste several times during the roasting period. Remove the chicken to a carving board. Strain the pan fluids, remove the fat and pour the fluids into a small saucepan. Let the chicken rest at least 15 minutes before carving. While carving, cook the pan fluids to reduce them to a syrupy consistency. Serve the chicken and fluids separately.

Makes 6-8 servings