by Judy Link, France Just For You's October guest chef (and Laura's mom)
We loved going to visit Laura and her family when they lived in Normandy. The food is amazing with all the cream, butter and cheese!
On a fall Sunday when we were visiting, after apple picking, we stopped at a charming auberge and were served a dish very similar to this one. I love making Normandy Chicken in the fall because the apples are in season and the dish warms you to the soul thanks to the Calvados (apple brandy)! It serves 4 people, and feel free to substitute the Calvados with Pommeau or even Cognac.
Guest chef Judy preparing the Normandy Chicken ©Larry Link
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cooking apples, cored and sliced into wedges (you can peel or not)
- Flour for dredging
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 large onion, peeled, sliced lengthwise into wedges
- 1/2 cup Calvados
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup cream
- Heat 2 tbsp of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apple slices and sauté until they turn a little brown around the edges, turning occasionally. Sprinkle the apple slices with a little salt. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- Dredge the chicken in flour and place the pieces in the sauté pan. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Cook until the outside is golden and the inside is throughly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the onions and increase the heat to medium-high. Spread the onion slices out in an even layer to cover the pan. As the onions cook they will release moisture that will help deglaze the pan of the browned bits from the chicken. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, for about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the Calvados to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any remaining browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the brandy boil until it has reduced by about half. Add the apple cider and bring to a boil. Sprinkle in the thyme. Add just a pinch of salt to the cider. Then, add the apples and when the sauce is reduced to the point where it's a little syrupy, add the cream and turn down the heat. Taste for salt and add some if needed.
- To serve, spoon some apples and onions on the plate, top with sauce and the chicken.
Judy and Larry ready to enjoy the Normandy Chicken, ©Larry Link
- Enjoy Calvados, cider and beautiful scenery along the Cider Road in Normandy.