I know this seems like a really weird recipe, but it's good-- I promise. The cider cooks down, mellowing the garlic, into a thick tangy sauce, and the sweetness is tempered by the chili. The whole thing cooks up in about 30 minutes, and takes only 5 or so to put together.
I used boneless skinless thigh meat to make this a quick meal, but you can use whole, bone-in chicken pieces and even leave the skin on if you like. Just adjust the cooking time.
You'll need (serves 3-4):
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh meat (see note)
1 head garlic
3 stalk lemongrass
2c "hard" apple cider
1t harissa paste
1T smoked Turkish pepper or smoked paprika
1T grapeseed oil
Remove outer layers from lemongrass and grind in a food processor. Slice garlic.
If using boneless meat, cut chicken into small (1 inch) pieces. Salt and pepper liberally and toss with flour. Heat oil in a skillet big enough to fit all your chicken in 1 layer and brown chicken pieces, being careful not to crowd the pan, about 3 minutes/side over medium-high heat. If the pan starts to burn, lower heat & add more oil. Set browned pieces aside.
Add lemongrass and garlic to pan and cook until garlic is golden, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add cider and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from pan. Add harissa and smoked pepper or paprika; add browned chicken and accumulated juices.
Simmer, uncovered, about 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, adding water or stock if liquid dries up. You should end up with a thick brown sauce. Serve over couscous....