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Chicken Normandy

As you know, I am a terrible cook (but a magnificent baker) so when I saw this recipe for Chicken Normandy in Food & Home Entertaining (May 2012) I was surprised at how tempted I was to make it. To be fair, I was a little "homesick" after a wonderful 2 weeks in France last year, one of which was in Normandy, hence how quick I was to give this a try.

And it is VERY easy. So easy, that I have made it a few times since. Because I was pressed for time for Book Club on Tuesday, Steve admittedly did most of the cooking - and his version tasted better than mine! (How rude!) Such wonderful comfort food - do try it!

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Chicken Normandy

Serves: 4

Difficulty level: A little effort

Time: 2 hours

TO DRINK: A fruity local brandy will complement the rich chicken and sweet apple

Ingredients:

  • APPLE GARNISH
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) butter
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
  • 5ml (1 tsp) castor sugar
  • 40ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • I onion, sliced
  • 8 pieces trimmed breast/thigh chicken portions
  • 15ml (3 tsp) Calvados or brandy
  • 20ml (4 tsp) cake flour
  • 250ml (1 cup) dry cider
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh cream

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. For the apple garnish, simmer the butter, applies and sugar in a saucepan until the apples are soft. Set aside.

3. Heat the butter and oil in a large casserole and fry until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the pan and brown the chicken on the skin side until golden.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the Calvados, light and shake the pan until the flames have subsided.

5. Remove the chicken, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cider stock, herbs and onion and cook, stirring well, until thickened and smooth.

6. Season, return the chicken to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover tightly with a lid or foil, and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.

7. Stir in the cream and serve topped with apple garnish and extra thyme.

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