Loxtonia Non-Alcoholic cider will see you through lockdown

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NON-ALCOHOLIC drinks are surging as the trend towards alternative lifestyle choices takes hold across the globe, and in South Africa they’re the option during alcohol bans.

Loxtonia, the “orchard to bottle” 100% freshly pressed and naturally fermented apple cider from the Ceres Valley, has a refreshing, low-calorie Non-Alcoholic cider to complement its range (read more here).

Made on the family-owned farm with home-grown apples, Loxtonia Easy Apple Non-Alcoholic cider delivers a burst of crisp apples with a dry Granny Smith finish. Delicious to the core with just 242 kilojoules, this non-alcoholic cider will never weigh you down. Whether you are a self-care maven, a mom-to-be or designated driver, you can make good alternative choices without having to give up on the original premium Loxtonia Cider taste. 

Loxtonia Easy Apple Non-Alcoholic is a blend of the finest hand-picked apples freshly pressed in the cidery on Loxtonia farm. Its proud premise of orchard to bottle captures the quality and integrity of the apple throughout the cider making process. Relying entirely on solar power and keeping water usage to a minimum, it’s a sustainable journey with zero waste that begins in the soil and ends with the cider. 

All Loxtonia ciders are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and free of preservatives and artificial additives. Enjoy chilled, straight from the fridge, or pour over ice and garnish with a slice of apple.

Loxtonia Fresh Apple Non-Alcoholic cider is available at the Loxtonia Cidery in Ceres or leading outlets countrywide. All Loxtonia ciders are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and free of preservatives and artificial additives. For online purchases at R80.84 for a 4-pack of 340ml glass bottles including free delivery within South Africa, click here.  The Loxtonia tasting room is open daily. For bookings email info@loxtonia.co.za or call 023 004 0930.To stay in the mix, follow @loxtonia_cider on Instagram and Twitter.

Cooking up a storm and tucking into a time-honoured family recipe is what winter comfort food is all about especially when the dish is enriched with a premium apple cider; while lockdown level 4 continues, you can substitute the non-alcoholic version.

BRAISED CHICKEN WINTER CASSEROLE

Serves 4 

Ingredients

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

2 fennel bulbs, sliced

4 shallots, sliced 

4 cloves garlic, finely minced 

A large handful / bunch fresh sage leaves

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

340ml Loxtonia Crispy Apple cider (or Easy Apple Non-Alcoholic cider)

2 green apples, sliced

125ml fresh cream 

½ bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and roughly chopped 

Salt and black pepper, to taste 

Olive oil 

Method

Preheat oven to 180˚C. 

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large Dutch oven, buffet casserole or cast iron skillet. 

Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season with salt. 

Sear the chicken thighs skin-side down, until the skin is golden brown. 

Flip and cook until lightly browned on the underside. 

Set chicken pieces aside on a tray. 

Add the sliced fennel to the pan with the residual chicken fat and cook until lightly golden on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside next to the chicken. 

If you need to, add a fresh drizzle of olive oil to the pan. 

Add the sliced shallots and sage leaves. Season. Cook until the shallots soften and begin to take on some colour. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. 

Add the apple cider vinegar, mustard and cider. 

Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. 

Add the fennel and the chicken back into the pan and nestle it in the sauce. 

Dot the apples around the dish. 

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken thighs are cooked through. 

Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or baking tray. 

(You can keep the chicken warm in the oven during the next step – or crisp up the skin under the grill.)

Bring the braise to a gentle simmer on the stove top. Add the kale and cream. 

Stir until the kale is wilted and the sauce has reduced slightly. 

Taste for seasoning. Return the chicken to the pan for serving family style. 

Serve with a good crusty bread for mopping up the sauce and a green side salad.

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