Chicken Cider Stew

Chicken Cider Stew is a colorful fall stew with moist bites of chicken, sweet potatoes and carrots cooked in apple cider. The recipe makes up quickly and lucky thing, tastes good right away. It's a long-time favorite recipe, mine, yes, but also other Kitchen Parade readers. No wonder, it's hot, it's healthy, it's full of flavor. Better still? It's one of those one-pot quick supper recipes we all love so much.

Chicken Cider Stew, another Quick Supper ♥, a colorful fall stew with sweet potatoes, carrots. Rave reviews. Weight Watchers friendly!

Real Food, Fresh & Comforting. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Hearty & Filling. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. One-Pot Meal. Potluck & Party Friendly. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Rave Reviews.

  • "I absolutely love the Apple Cider Chicken Stew." ~ Amanda
  • "My husband ... loved it, and so did I!" ~ Kirsten
  • "I tried this over the weekend and it was excellent!" ~ Jenn
  • "Apple Cider Chicken Stew is DELISH!" ~ ColoradoCookie
  • "Excellent recipe and open to experimentation." ~ Phil
  • "OMG!!! That was great!!!! All full and happy." ~ Ann
  • "I made it last night – good!" ~ Pat
  • "I've been making this recipe every fall for years ... I adore it." ~Ash


One of My Very Oldest Recipes

How old? Well, it was my pick for recipe #4 when I first started writing Kitchen Parade way back in 2002. So yeah, that old. And that much a favorite, that I shared it so soon.

But honestly, it's even older than that, dating back to the years when I was a brand-new cook struggling to manage a limited food budget, learning how to build meals with what we already had on hand, figuring out my personal food and cooking style.

What's In Chicken Cider Stew? (Mostly) Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Protein The recipe calls for the extra-healthy boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But chicken thighs would work too. In fact, a reader had great luck using pork and later I tried adding some already-cooked pork loin. So good! So the protein is flexible. Would venison work? A tender cut of beef? Yes, I think so.

  • Seasonings & Flavorings Start off with bacon or bacon grease for a boost of bacon-y flavor. I use two dried herbs, thyme and basil, but Italian seasoning would work too. Or maybe some curry? Yes! A spurt of ketchup adds a touch of acid, that's important. Salt and pepper? Of course!

  • Vegetables The base starts with onion and celery, the "aromatics". Later, chunks of carrots and sweet potatoes are added.

  • Fruit Chopped apple is wonderful here and it of course carries through from the apple cider which is a key ingredient. But even the apple cider can be substituted with apple juice, it just needs a touch of vinegar at the end to counter juice's sweetness; these instructions are in the recipe TIPS.

  • Thickener A little flour helps thicken the cooking liquid but there are gluten-free options too, they're all listed in the recipe TIPS.

  • That's it!

Why I Love This Recipe & You Might Too

  • It's made with everyday, easy-to-find and economical ingredients
  • It's a complete meal, all in one
  • It just tastes like "fall" thanks to the cider, the apple, the sweet potato
  • It's a mix of textures, thanks to the firm chicken, the soft apple and sweet potato, the gravy
  • Its gravy is a little fruity without being sweet, thanks to the cider and the apple and even the sweet potato
  • People love it! Even kids.
  • The leftovers are excellent.
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for Chicken Cider Stew hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Chicken Cider Stew, another Quick Supper ♥, a colorful fall stew with sweet potatoes, carrots. Rave reviews. Weight Watchers friendly!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 50 minutes
Makes 8 cups
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 rib celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1-1/2 pounds (675g) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups apple cider (see TIPS)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme (or savory), crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Cook the bacon until crisp over medium heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven or braising dish. Lift the cooked bacon out of the pan, leaving the bacon fat behind; chop it up and set aside.

Drain the bacon fat from pan, leaving only what coats the surface. Add the onions, celery and chicken and sauté, stirring regularly, until the onions are golden and the chicken is cooked through.

Add the carrots, sweet potatoes and apple and let cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apple cider, water, ketchup, salt, savory, basil and pepper. Let simmer over low-medium heat about 20 minutes until the carrots and sweet potatoes are cooked.

Put the flour in small dish and slowly stir in 1/2 cup hot liquid from the stew to make a smooth paste. Stir the flour-hot liquid mixture back into the hot stew and cook for another five minutes. Sprinkle with the cooked bacon. Serve and savor!

SERVING SUGGESTION Serve with rice cooked in half water, half apple cider, which adds a sweet, almost nutty flavor to the rice that complements the stew beautifully. That said, this stew is substantial on its own and really doesn't require a starch.

ALANNA's TIPS I some times skip the bacon but do nearly always use bacon fat to cook the onion, celery and chicken. Chicken breasts are convenient but expensive. For a more frugal (and dare I say, flavorful?) dish, choose chicken thighs. Packages of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are quite inexpensive but I always remove the skins. A reader loved this stew made with fresh pork. I tried it with leftover cooked pork loin and it was wonderful! No apple cider? No problem! Substitute 2 cups apple juice for the 2 cups apple cider. But for the needed astringency, near the end of the cooking time, stir in a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar. For a gluten-free version, I use two different techniques to thicken the stew a little bit. Option one, just omit the flour and use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the liquid and sweet potato/carrot mixture. Option two, omit the flour and use 2 tablespoons of cornmeal sprinkled over top of the stew, then stirred in and cooked for about 5 minutes. Option three, I guess, just don't thicken the cooking liquid. Ready to play around? Add tomatillos, even chopped fresh tomato and poblano chili. (A surprise shortcut? Pico de gallo!) In the fall, this is my go-to dish to take to families when someone's ill or has lost a family member. It's easy to throw together, it keeps. Most important, it's familiar, it's comforting, everyone loves it.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 203 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 24g Carb; 3g Fiber; 13g Sugar; 281mg Sodium; 51mg Cholesterol; 22g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 3 & myWW green 5 & blue 3 & purple 3


Cook peeled sweet potatoes in boiling well-salted water until soft. Drain the water, then mash until smooth. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with a touch of butter.


Peel the sweet potatoes and slice cross-wise about 1/3” thick. Spray or lightly brush both sides with olive oil, then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt or grated parmesan and bake at 350F/180C for 30-40 minutes or until the edges become crispy and centers soft.

More Chicken Stew Comfort Food

~ chicken recipes ~
Spiced Chicken Tagine with Roasted Cauliflower ♥, a one-pot supper, chicken and roasted cauliflower with warm spices and a touch of sour from Spiced Preserved Lemons.

Chicken Curry ♥, one-pot supper reminiscent of London's best take-away curries. Great with beef, too!

Chicken with Apple & Creamy Cider Gravy ♥, a one-skillet chicken dish, perfect for fall. Full-flavored chicken thighs cradled in creamy gravy made with apple cider.

Using Up That Extra Apple Cider

~ Mulled Apple Cider ~
~ Thick Chops with Sauerkraut & Apples ~
~ Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter ~
~ My Favorite Apple Recipes ~
~ more apple cider recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Apple Cider Vinaigrette ~
from A Veggie Venture

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2002, 2009, 2010, 2011 (repub), 2014, 2015 (repub), 2016, 2019 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous5/12/2008

    I wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying your web page. I absolutely love the Apple Cider Chicken Stew. It's one of my lunch staples.

  2. Anonymous10/03/2008

    The weather turned to Fall and I got ginormous sweet potatoes in the CSA share, so my thoughts immediately turned to this stew! My husband was deployed when I tried it last year so he got to try it for the first time last night. He loved it, and so did I! The folks are in Turkey, cruising around the Black Sea, so there is a container in my freezer for them when they return (it may thaw as mush, but then we'll call it soup).

    I couldn't find savory in the store, so I substituted Herbs de Provence for the herbs.


  3. I tried this over the weekend and it was excellent! Thank you so much for this recipe. I used Herbs De Provence b/c I couldn't find Savory either and it tasted great!

  4. kirsten10/04/2010

    I can't believe it's been 2 yrs since I posted this comment! Every year the weather turns cool, we get sweet potatoes in the farm share, cider appears in the grocery stores, and I crave this stew.

    Thanks Alanna! 4th year of Chicken Cider Stew and I'm still going strong.

  5. ColoradoCookie1/03/2011

    Apple Cider Chicken Stew is DELISH! I thought I had all the ingredients in the pantry- alas, the apple juice/cider was gone. I subbed a tub of apple sauce (1/2 cup)and added more water. The stew was a hit with the family.

  6. Is there a substitute herb you can use for savory? Would rosemary work?

  7. My goodness, this looks delicous!!! Perfect for a cold winter dinner!!! Thank you for the recipe!!!

  8. l x z ~ Thyme, marjoram and sage are the substitutes for savory. Great question, since savory isn't exactly a staple herb.

  9. Thanks for the quick response. I've never seen savory in this part of the world (South East Asia) but the others, yes.

  10. Excellent recipe and open to experimentation. Went down very well when I served it for lunch today.

  11. Do you think this would work cooking it all int he crockpot? :)

  12. Melanie ~ Aii, I am such a total crockpot drop-out.

    Here’s why: I find that in a slow cooker, flavors and textures get all muddled, everything tastes the same instead of creating bursts of individual flavors in the same bite. For this particular recipe, the cooking time is quite short too, just 25 minutes. So maybe use that stove-top time to set the table, cook some rice, even, you know, pour yourself a glass of wine?

    Thanks for asking, it is such a favorite recipe, I really should try it in the crockpot, just to see. :-)

  13. OMG!!! That was great!!!! All full and happy. Thanks so much.

  14. Was wondering two things.
    1) If using chicken thighs, would you use the same amount as the breasts-1 1/2 lb? Or a certain quantity?
    2) I'm thing that perhaps I might want to brown the thighs first, take them out and then sautée the vegetables and then put the chicken back in and proceed with rest of recipe.
    Any thoughts on this method?

  15. I made it last night -- good! But I didn't have rice - so put over whole wheat pasta....would've been better over rice!

  16. Ann ~ So glad you liked it, me too! Definite winner!

    Sunny ~ Ah, good question. By the time you take off skins/bones, I’d go for almost lbs of chicken thighs to yield the equivalent amount of meat. Or if you like, allow one per serving, the guys will eat two! And yes, I’d brown the thighs if they’re bone-in, though with boneless thighs, I just cut up the meat and toss it in with the onions/etc. I’ve made this recipe so often (and have learned how forgiving it is) that I usually just wing it. The essentials are some sort of meat (this week I intend to try it with beef!) and apple cider plus the ketchup (for a little acidity) and the apple/sweet potato/carrot combination (although butternut squash would work too instead of sweet potatoes).

    Pat ~ Yay, another fan! Another idea, I served this last week with grits, they were excellent!

  17. I've been making this recipe every fall for years, but never commented. I adore it.

    Last night, I was all set to start cooking, peeled the plastic off the pack of chicken...and was met with a terrible stench! The chicken went in the trash and a dig through the freezer unearthed some pork chops that would thaw quickly. It came out fantastic. I am not sure which I like better now, the stew with chicken or pork.

  18. Ash ~ Why thank you for that! It’s so good to know that this works with pork too. In fact? I’m headed for the freezer to find some pork, it’s now “what’s for supper”!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna