This apple cider chicken is THE BEST chicken I've ever made. Life. Changing. Chicken. The marinade is quick and easy, and the brined chicken grills up in 10 minutes to charred, juicy, sweet + savory perfection. This is a family friendly weeknight recipe that everyone will love!
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5 from 1 vote

Apple Cider Chicken

This apple cider chicken is the best chicken you'll ever taste. Life. Changing. Chicken. It grills up with a crispy charred, smokey exterior and juicy tender interior. While this takes a bit of time to marinate (at least 2 hours, and up to overnight) the hands on time is little and the cooking time is just 10 minutes. 
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 187kcal
Author Danielle


Apple Cider Chicken Brine

  • 4 c. apple cider
  • 1.5 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

Apple Cider Chicken Grilling Oil

  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • pinch ground nutmeg


  • In a small sauce pot, combine the cider, salt, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, cloves, star anise and cinnamon stick. Heat over a high flame until the cider boils, then reduce to medium low and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Give it a good stir to ensure the salt has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool until it's no longer steaming (you don't want to poach the raw chicken!). If you're in a rush, add a handful of ice cubes - it will speed up the cooling process without diluting the brine too much. 
  • Place a gallon sided ziplock bag in a bowl, and place the raw chicken breasts at the bottom of the bag. Pour the apple cider brine over the chicken, then press out the air and seal. Pop the whole contraption into the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. 
  • Preheat your grill (preferably a charcoal grill if you have one) to high heat. If you're using a charcoal grill, the temperature should reach at least 450*. While the grill is heating, prepare the grilling oil. Combine the oil with the thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and whisk to combine. 
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the brine. Rinse the chicken, then pat dry. Brush each side with the grilling oil. Grill 4-5 minutes per side until the exterior is charred and the internal temperature reaches 165* with an instant read thermometer. Remove from the grill and allow to rest 5-10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve immediately. 


Calories: 187kcal