Poulet a la Normande
Great for the fall season
4 tbsp butter
1/2 de-boned chicken breast per person
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 shallots diced or one medium onion
1 rib celery diced
3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 4 strips of bacon, or back bacon diced
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp flour
85 ml / 1/3 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup hard dry apple cider
1-2 apples peeled, cored and cut into wedges 125ml / 1/2cup heavy cream
YIELD: 4 servings
COURSE: Chicken & Other Birds
- Pat dry chicken pieces with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a large saute pan brown the chicken parts in butter over medium-high heat until golden. (about 4 min.) Remove to a separate bowl and set aside.
- Fry the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon to the same bowl as the browned chicken.
- To the same pan add the onion/shallots and celery along with the thyme leaves and cook over low heat until soft but not coloured for 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer while stirring.
- Then splash some brandy into the pan and stir while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula, continue cooking until the alcohol nearly disappears.
- Add the flour and stir until it's combined with the fat and turns into a paste, then slowly add the chicken stock and stir until the mixture resembles a thick gravy, then pour in the apple cider and stir to combine. Return the chicken and bacon to the saute pan with 2-3 sprigs of thyme and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is simmering, fry the apple wedges in 2 tbsp of butter. Watch them carefully as they burn quickly.
- Stir the heavy cream into the saute pan and cook for 5 minutes longer uncovered. Serve with the apple wedges, and potatoes, rice or crusty bread.