Poulet a la Normande

A combination of chicken, apples and Calvados, Poulet a la Normande (poo-lay ah lah nohr-mahnd) may be served with boiled rice and a tomato salad.

1×4 lb. chicken

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. butter

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 lb. eating apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced

6 fl. oz. chicken stock

2 fl. oz. Calvados

½ teaspoon dried sage finely grated rind of

½ lemon

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180 C).

Rub the chicken, inside and out, with the salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken and cook, turning it frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is evenly browned. Remove the chicken from the casserole and keep warm.

Add the onion to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the apples and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

Pour in the stock and Calvados and add the sage and lemon rind. Bring the liquid to the boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Return the chicken to the casserole and baste it well with the liquid. Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Using two large forks, lift the chicken out of the casserole and transfer it to a warmed serving dish. With a slotted spoon, lift out the apple slices and arrange them around the chicken. Using a metal spoon, skim off any fat from the surface of the juices in the casserole. Pour half the juice over the chicken and apples and the other half into a warmed sauceboat. Serve immediately.

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