Chicken, Apples and Cream à la Normande

12.14.2012



This is the type of dish that you´d probably get taught the first day in a french cuisine 101 course. It has that kind of feeling.
The name a la normande has me riding a horse, full armor, across the french countryside. Arriving at the castle, a pot, or cauldron of this would be a nice meal to have waiting. I´m pretty certain I lived in the Middle Ages in another life. Almost sure of it.


The recipe is very simple, even with the dredging in flour, a step needed to get a thicker sauce in the end. A walnut sized ball, equal parts butter and flour, called beurre manie, will do the trick also. Very french.
It calls for chicken breasts, and that´s definitely easier to work with. But I would´ve prefer thighs, because, well, I always prefer the thighs. So much more flavorful.


But on with our recipe here, after dredging the meat in flour with salt and pepper, it is slowly fried in some butter and oil. It begins to brown and some onions, apples and mushrooms are added. Then some stock and calvados, which is a wonderful apple brandy. I especially like it in baking, in apple cakes or bread puddings with apple. But I had run out of it, and getting another bottle meant going to a winery, and that was not happening today. 


Well, I used green onion because that´s what I had, and I had already gone to the supermarket so that was that. And the calvados was replaced by brandy. Which is wonderful with apples. A glug of cream at the end and voila, a good, hearty, yet kinda fancy dish on the plate.
I personally think it needed a bit of an extra kick. Chicken thighs and an herb would´ve made it more interesting. And more apples. At least double or triple, which is not much since it called for only one apple. I added a lot of pepper to it.


The book also suggests using pork, and I definitely think it would be good, and also adding some sage.
All in all, a good, solid recipe. It comes together fast and the ingredients are usually found everyday in most kitchens.

The recipe can be found in Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenpan. You can find the rest of the group´s recipes in the FFWD page.
And the recipe can be found here.


18 comments:

  1. Beautifully done, Paula! As much as we enjoyed this, I, too, thought it could use an extra boost of flavor...herbs, garlic? Something :)

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  2. Very lovely - the sauce definitely needed thickening.
    Yes, I also think a little extra flavor would have helped.

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  3. Yes I am definitely trying this agan with pork and sage. What a great and versatile recipe!

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  4. Your dish looks great, and I love that plate!

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  5. Very lovely dish, Paula! I like the way your broke down the recipe and brought up some alternatives to give it a boost. We liked the recipe as is, but it never hurts to play around and see what might work better. Nice job!

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  6. What beautiful plating and flavours :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  7. Chicken and apples are wonderful combination! I think I just tried making chicken with apple sauce..

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  8. Good to know you can use brandy and I love the idea of green onions..your sauce came out so rich, beautiful.

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  9. I prefer thighs too, though I did this with breasts. Better than I expected. I loved this recipe's sauce. And, the vision of you in armor, charging a castle in the Middle Ages. LOL!

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  10. Your dish is arranged so lovely with the apples. I made the pork version and the sage gave it a wonderful flavor. I wonder why Dorie doesn't have herbs for the chicken version.

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  11. I agree with Elaine, your dish is lovely and so is your presentation.

    This is one of those recipes that's as valuable for the technique as the ingredients. I played with it a little, adding some dried herbs and garlic.

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  12. I love reading how each person takes on this challenge. I think I would agree with your assessment that herbs might give this mild flavored dish a little extra something.

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  13. Beautiful presentation!!! I was not able to make it this week but reading yours and everybody else's post I think I might seriously consider it for on of my holiday dinners! Happy Holidays!!!

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  14. Paula, I agree…this dish need some more flavor…just a tad to bland for me! I will give it a another try, because so many really loved it…and kick it up a notch!! I also think chicken thighs would be better than breasts or maybe some pork! Great photos!! Have a great day!!

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  15. looks lovely and comforting. interesting to read everyone's comments on falvour adjustments!

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  16. LOL - I do like your medieval plate. This was delicious and a definite keeper here.

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  17. Beautiful photos - every time I come to your site I just love, love, love the new look of it. What a great design! Your medieval plate of chicken looks delish!

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  18. I love is dish - so comforting and perfect for winter! I am planning on making it again for Christmas night, to enjoy by the fireside. ~ David

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