Food bloggers love to organize group events. You have Yeastspotting, World Bread Day, Sourdough Surprises, In My Kitchen, Daring Bakers, Meatless Mondays, Black and White Wednesdays, and of course, The Secret Recipe Club, of which I am a participant.   Unfortunately, sometimes tragic events take place, and a cloud of deep sadness contaminates what until then was all about fun.   Recently we learned that one dear member of The Secret Recipe Club passed away. Daniel, a young father of two kids, married for only 6 years, died shortly after cooking a nice barbecue dinner for his whole family.   You can read the heart-breaking tribute written by his wife Meredith (who is expecting their third child) by clicking here.  A couple of beautiful articles written by his brother  can also be found here and here.

To celebrate Daniel’s life, SRC members picked one recipe from his blog (The Haggis and the Herring)  to cook and blog about. As we always do on this group event, everyone publishes the article at the same time. Here is my contribution, a cider-glazed chicken with the colors and the taste of Autumn.

(adapted from Daniel’s recipe)

6 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 Tablespoon mustard
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 cup apple cider

Trim excess fat and skin from the chicken thighs. Dry them well and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil on a cast iron pan or other large skillet with a lid, and brown the chicken pieces, skin side down first.  Make sure they are golden brown before flipping them over.  Remove the pieces as they brown, discard excess fat from the skillet, leaving one tablespoon behind.  Saute the shallots until translucent. While they are cooking, mix the mustard with the cider vinegar and the herbes de Provence in a small bowl.  Add the mustard mixture to the skillet, cook with the shallots for a  minute or two.  Add the cup of apple cider, return the chicken to the skillet and cook for 45 to 55 minutes, until very tender.  Flip the pieces occasionally, but keep the pan closed and with very gently heat.

To serve, remove the chicken pieces to a platter, and reduce the cider cooking liquid until it forms a glaze.  Spoon over the chicken.

to print the recipe, click here

It is a strange experience to go on someone’s blog and look for a recipe, when you know that person is no longer with us.  Daniel was so full of projects and so excited about his family, about raising his kids, it’s very difficult to accept that a life could end so abruptly, with so much yet to experience and enjoy. The truth is, we never know how much time we have, so we must try to make the best of each day.

My profound condolences to Meredith and Daniel’s whole family. 

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To see other recipes from Secret Recipe Club members made in Daniel’s memory, visit the links below.