Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Normandy—a celebrated region in northern France—is well known for its cream and apples. These elements come together well in this recipe, which combines a wide host of different ingredients—ranging from rosemary to brandy—to make a sweet, rich, and savory dish all at the same time.
A creamy sauce with sautéed onions mixes with sautéed chicken. Delicious quantities of sour cream (crème fraîche naturally being the alternative if you want it to be fully French) are added into make what is already a rich sauce—with its rosemary, chicken stock, celery, onions, apple, and lemon—into one that is truly decadent and guiltily delicious.
Apples dot the top of it to complete the picture. If you have a passion for very sweet main courses, raisins and prunes can be added as well, but they probably would go best with another dish incorporating something like pork instead of this delicate and flavorful chicken, which should be savored on its own merits.
Rice and noodles are excellent for soaking up and complementing the sauce; personally, I used udon noodles with a mixture of sesame oil, red pepper, soy sauce, pepper, and rice vinegar in similar quantities to that found in spicy fried noodles with sautéed marinated beef.
I found that the small bit of spice was good, although the sesame oil really takes a starring role in such an act—both light enough to be a good canvas for the sauce, while being distinct enough for its own flavor to shine through and contrast nicely with the other elements. In my opinion, this dish is particularly good with a nice red wine to go with it.
I have adapted this recipe from The Little French Cookbook by Murdoch Books, which has a great number of very good recipes.
- 2 pounds chicken, (in pieces)
- 2 apples, 1 peeled, the other not
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 5 heaping tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 5 prunes, optional)
- 1/3 cup raisins, optional)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- Core the apples after having peeled one. Cut half of the cored, peeled apple into diced apple segments, and then slice the remaining apples into wedges. Coat all of these with the lemon juice in a bowl.
- Place 4 tablespoons of butter into a large skillet, and heat it with high heat until it is very hot. Then add in the chicken, which should be composed of multiple pieces (for 2 pounds, perhaps 4 to 5 sections at least). Sauté one side until it turns a golden brown, then sauté the other side for at least 5 minutes.
- Retire the chicken to a separate plate. Place the peeled and chopped onions, chopped celery, the diced apples, the rosemary, and if using, the raisins into the skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes, not until they are browned. Remove from heat and add in the brandy, then return to heat and add in the 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Add in the peeled and chopped garlic.
- Bring to a boil, then add in the chicken. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Simultaneously in a smaller frying pan, heat over high heat the 1 tablespoon of butter that remains, then add in the apple wedges. Sauté for 2 minutes, then retire from heat.
- At the end of the chicken 15 minute cooking period add in the sour cream and the heavy cream, then turn up the heat to high and boil until the sauce is thick, around 5 minutes.
- Serve the chicken in its sauce with the apples over it, and optionally if one wants the prunes with the apples.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 03, 2018:
This sounds delicious, thankyou for the recipe. =)