Start to finish: 1 hour
3 pounds chicken thighs or legs (or mixed), skin removed, bone-in
2 thick slices of bacon, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon of butter
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 1/2 cup hard apple cider (or 3/4 cup regular cider and 3/4 cup dry white wine)
3 large pears, cut into wedges
1 bay leaf
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth, if needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Set the chicken on a plate and dry gently with paper towels and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a heavy oven-safe pan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until it starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside on a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Brown the chicken on all sides over medium high heat until all sides are golden, about 10 minutes. Add the onions and butter to the pan, and cook, stirring until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and tarragon and cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1 more minute.
Turn the heat up a little to medium high and deglaze the pan with with the hard cider (or regular cider and wine) and allow the liquid to bubble up. Add the bacon, pears, bay leaf and enough broth to cover the chicken about halfway. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then cover tightly and cook in the oven until the meat is tender, about 30 more minutes.
Serve straight from the pan, or if desired, remove the chicken and pears to a serving platter, and then simmer the liquid stove top for 5 minutes to reduce into a richer sauce to spoon on top.
Nutrition information per serving: 450 calories; 136 calories from fat; 15 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 224 mg cholesterol; 449 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 16 g sugar; 47 g protein.
Melissa d’Arabian, Associated Press