2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a wide, shallow pot over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes a side. The pan should be hot enough to brown the chicken but not burn. Remove the chicken from the pan and drain off any excess fat.
3. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the remaining oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat to brown the vegetables slightly.
4. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme and cook for 2 more minutes.
5. Add the apple cider, chicken stock and chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Do not let it boil rapidly.
6. Strain the stew and retain the chicken and liquid. Discard the vegetables. Return the liquid to the pot and simmer to reduce its volume by half.
7. Spray a small skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until the shallots begin to wilt, about 10 minutes. If the pan becomes too dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved liquid. Add the mushrooms, season them with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes more. Add the apples and cook for 2 minutes more.
8. Add the chicken, shallots, mushrooms and apples to the reduced liquid.
9. Adjust the seasoning with a generous amount of salt and pepper.