Print Recipe

Chicken, Cider and Cheddar Crumble

This savoury crumble recipe is a powerhouse of comfort food! It hits that spot when you need something to help ward off those cold winter nights. The recipe came to James when he was exploring how to combine some of his favourite ingredients together; chicken, cheese and cider! Cider and chicken go really well together, and James has a few recipes in his book that celebrate this partnership, plus he went to school in Cheddar (in the UK), so James really had no choice on the cheese selection for this dish.

You can make this ahead of time - it’s great for leaving for a day or so - just make it to the point before adding the crème fraîche and chill until needed. When you’re ready, take out of the fridge, add the crème fraîche and top with the crumble topping before baking.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
Author: James Rich


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed 100 g (3 1⁄2 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 350 g 12 oz skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cooking apple such as a Bramley, peeled and cored
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 200 ml 7 fl oz/scant 1 cup dry cider
  • 100 g 3 1⁄2 oz/scant 1⁄2 cup crème fraîche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the crumble
  • 250 g 9 oz/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 g 5 oz butter, at room temperature, diced
  • 150 g 5 oz mature Cheddar, grated (shredded)
  • 30 g 1 oz/1⁄4 cup hazelnuts, chopped


  • Preheat a fan oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 6).
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and fry the onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for a further 3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and oregano to the pan and continue frying for another 10 minutes until the chicken has cooked through and is beginning to brown. Cut the apple into 8 wedges, add to the pan and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the mustard and stir in well. Then pour in the cider and increase the heat. Cook on a high heat for 3–5 minutes until the alcohol has burnt off and liquid has reduced by about a quarter. Turn off the heat, stir in the crème fraîche and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then transfer to a large baking dish.
  • To make the crumble topping, put the flour, mustard powder and some salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together. Add the butter, then rub between your fingers and thumbs until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Stir in the cheese and hazelnuts and mix well.
  • Top the apple, chicken and cider with the crumble and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and crunchy. Serve with your favourite vegetables.


From page 80 of Apple: Recipes from the Orchard