½teaspoonground black pepperplus extra for seasoning chicken
3medium applespeeled, cored, and quartered ( I used Honeycrisp)
8bone-in chicken thighs
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallots, apple cider, maple syrup, ginger, vinegar, chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a large, heavy bottomed, oven-proof pan over medium-high heat (I used an enameled cast-iron braising skillet). While the skillet heats, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet.
Place the thighs skin-side-down into the skillet. Cook until the skin is golden-brown, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, then turn the chicken thighs skin-side-up. Using tongs, nestle the apple quarters and thyme sprigs among the chicken thighs. Pour the maple cider mixture over the chicken and apples. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, basting the chicken with the juices every 15 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked through and the apples are tender, remove them from the skillet and transfer to a serving platter. Cover tightly with foil.
Return the skillet to medium high heat and bring the cooking juices to a slow boil. Stirring frequently, reduce the cooking juices until a thick sauce forms and coats the back of your spoon. This will take 6-8 minutes.
To serve, strain the sauce if you like and spoon over the chicken and apples.