ffwd – chicken, apples, and cream a la normande

This week’s recipe is a classic French one. I know that Julia Child has many recipes for chicken with cream. But this one has ingredients that I really love, apples, mushrooms, Calvados! I’ve never made it before; either Dorie’s recipe, or Julia’s; mainly because it’s probably not that good for me (though worse than other things?… I think not!).

I almost didn’t get this done. And indeed, I’m late posting this. This has been really a crazy month or so. I work in retail real estate/construction – so we’re supposed to be kicking back at this time of year. Maybe a trip up north, just to get the feeling of the season (oh, and some serious work 🙂 ). This year has been different. Since the week after Thanksgiving, it’s been flat-out.

I’m happy that I did get this done. Like many recipes of its kind, it seems more difficult and time-consuming than it actually is. In fact, I had everything but the chicken on hand. So Dorie turns some pretty staple items into something wonderful, and comforting at the same time.

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I happen to love (love) Calvados. I think I started using it in an amazing apple cake a few years ago, and try to have some on hand. It’s wonderful in both sweet and savory applications (as well as on its own or in cocktails), adding a layer of depth you don’t get elsewhere. In fact, I used up the last of mine with this recipe, so now I get to add that to my list! Otherwise, just chicken, butter, cream, onions apple and mushrooms. Drat American over-sized everything! I had intended to make just a half-recipe, but as I took out the chicken, the pieces were so large, that I was sure that it was enough for the entire recipe. (of course, I could have thrown one in the freezer, but…). To begin, the chicken gets dredged in flour with a little salt and pepper. Then added into a (non-stick) pan with a bit of butter and oil to brown on both sides.

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While that’s cooking away, I prepped the vegetables. I had some leftover sliced mushrooms, so they got a quick chop, the apples into large chunks and the onions in a fine dice.

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Unfortunately, my original pan wasn’t big enough! I really should have known better. If I hadn’t goofed that up… this ends up being essentially a one-pan meal (and how nice is that?). I should have started with my nice straight-sided pan, it would have been fine even without a non-stick coating.

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Once the vegetables and apples get a bit of a coating from the oil/butter, then some stock is added, and that simmers for a bit. After that, the Calvados is added and the alcohol allowed to cook off. Finally, the cream is added, and simmered to reduce a little to make a wonderful sauce.

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All this needs to finish it off is a bit of a seasoning check for salt and pepper. I took Dorie’s advice and served this with some simple broccoli. I had some jambalaya rice on hand, so served that too (and though good with this, the sauce would have shown through better with something more plain). This was really, really good. And something easily manageable for a weeknight – company or no. Definitely a technique that everyone should learn. I am sure there are many other possibilities for this dish, though the classic was just right!

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I can definitely see this appearing again. A great idea in the wings for when I need something at the last minute or with no time. If you’d like to see what others in our French Fridays with Dorie group have come up with, look here.

7 thoughts on “ffwd – chicken, apples, and cream a la normande

  1. This one surprised me too with how easy it was. I enjoyed it and will definitely make it again. I hope things calm down for you at work so you can relax and enjoy the holiday season some. Have a great week!

  2. Candy, your Norman Chicken much have tasted really good – it looks wonderful and the rice and broccoli sound like very good side dishes to this wonderful recipe.
    Hope you will find yourself somewhat less busy in the days to come (although that´s probably a rather unrealistic wish…)!

  3. This was definitely way easier than I was expecting it to be. I am pretty new to Calvados, but I am finding that I like it.

    Have a great week. Hope you get some rest soon.

  4. I’ve actually never had Calvados before and the reason I didn’t buy it for this recipe is because I was sure that it would just be left lingering in my cabinet. But if I had a few more recipes to use it in, maybe I would reconsider.

  5. Just stopping in to wish you a very happy holiday. I am playing catch up myself on posting and commenting, but I picked a good week since the crackers (thank goodness) were pretty easy. I think you will love the Cheez-It crackers when you try them. Warm regards ~ Tricia

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