Cookbook author Wini Moranville shares her recipe for Chicken Normandy with Calvados, apples, and cream.
Chef: Wini Moranville
Makes: 4 servings
Serve With: Any-Night Baked Rice
About this Recipe
By: Wini Moranville
You can get a great, true-to-France meal [like Chicken Normandy] on the table in 30 minutes. After all, most French women have no more time to spend in the kitchen than North American women do.
One way they bring quick meals to the table is through the Sauté-Deglaze-Serve method of cooking: You simply sauté the night’s meat, then deglaze the pan with wine and/or broth and add a few easy-to-find ingredients—grapes or celery root here, sweet potatoes or apples there—herbs almost everywhere—for a fresh, vivid, true-to-France pan sauce.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup Calvados or apple brandy or 1/2 cup apple juice or cider and 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 small tart apples, peeled if desired, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley or chives, or a combination
Step by Step Instructions
Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. (Alternatively, you can halve each breast horizontally, or butterfly them, as described on page 107.) Season both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes (reduce the heat to medium if the meat browns too quickly). Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Stir in the shallot and sauté briefly, until translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and add the broth and Calvados, taking care not to let the liquid spatter. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a wire whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the apples. Let the mixture boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, turning the apples occasionally—this should take about 4 minutes, depending on the heat and your pan size; it will take closer to 7 minutes if you substitute apple juice and wine for the Calvados.
Stir in 1/4 cup cream and boil until the sauce thickens and apples are crisp-tender. For a creamier sauce, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to boil until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on four dinner plates, spoon the sauce and apples over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.
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Here is authentic French cooking without fuss or fear.
The Bonne Femme Cookbook is full of tips and tricks and shortcuts, lots of local color and insight into real French home kitchens, and above all, loads of really good food. It gives French cooking an accessible, friendly, and casual spin.