Cider Pulled Chicken

This would be an exceptionally good way to cook turkey, but is also a very sensible (and delicious) thing to do with your much more everyday chicken. Cooking the bird like this keeps the meat really moist and tender, but also keeps things as healthy as possible because it is easy to spoon the fat off the sauce as it cooks. This Cider Pulled Chicken is especially good with some simple greens and roasted potatoes, not least because the gravy is really delicious. It would also be very tasty flung into a wholemeal roll with some reduced sauce and maybe some gherkins and a dollop of extra mustard?!


  • 1 Free Range Chicken
  • 1 Bottle Cider (350ml ish)
  • 5 tsp Mustard (any kind/s)
  • 1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • Handful Chives and Oregano
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 12 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt & Pepper


  • Green Cabbage (or Kale or Sprouts)
  • Chicken Stock
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chilli Flakes (optional, to serve)

Pre-heat the oven to 175˚c

To prepare the Cider Pulled Chicken, finely slice an Onion

Lay the slices, and lots of Garlic Cloves on the bottom of a roasting dish big enough for your bird…

Put the Chicken on top of the Onions and Garlic together with some Chives and Oregano (Thyme would be good here too, or Parsley)

Spoon 5 or 6 teaspoons of Mustard onto the Chicken and spread it all over (roughly is fine).  I used a combination of Dijon, French’s Mustard, English and Wholegrain…

Pour the Cider and Cider Vinegar over the bird and season generously with Salt & Pepper

Wrap the roasting tray up first in greaseproof paper and then in foil to make sure it is super tight and steam proof

Put the Chicken in the oven for 2 hours covered, and then 20 minutes un-covered.  By this point the meat should be definitely cooked – but still moist (ie no pink)…  You can give it longer if you think it needs more cooking

While you are resting the Chicken, spoon the fat off from the gravy and add it to a saucepan to gently simmer until it has reduced by half and is a thick delicious sauce!  Season to taste and add some fresh Chives (or other Herbs)

To make the Steamed Cabbage… finely slice some Green Cabbage and half an Onion

Heat a little Oil in a frying pan and when hot add the sliced Onion.  Give it a few minutes and then add the Cabbage.  Fry for another minute before adding a big ladle of Chicken Stock (or Water).  Cook for a few minutes or until the Cabbage is cooked but not too soft (some texture and bite is good).  Squeeze some Lemon over the Steamed Cabbage and season before serving with a few Chilli Flakes on top…

Serve the Cider Pulled Chicken with the scrumptious Cider Gravy, and with Cabbage and Roasted Potatoes on the side

[NB - if you're cooking Turkey like this - I would increase the cooking time considerably, and add a lot more Onions and Garlic.  In principle, this recipe should work brilliantly for a big Turkey - but I have never actually tried it!]

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