The Normandy region of France just across the channel is well known for its apples and dairy produce which both appear in this recipe along with the chicken hence “chicken normande”.

As with so many traditional regional recipes there are lots of variations and customisations  In this tried and tested recipe for  “Chicken Normande”,”chicken à la normande” or even “Chicken Normandy”we have included all the main elements from  most of the iterations. Our choice here is to use chicken quarters for the richer flavour,  also the darker meats are better suited to longer braising.

Quantities below are to serve four people. Allow about 15 minutes for the preparation time and 1.5 hours for cooking time.

Ingredients For Chicken Normande

4 Chicken quarters or 8 thighs from Morley Butchers
1 large onion sliced
1 large carrot grated
1 celery stick finely sliced
300g button mushrooms quartered
150ml fresh cream
500ml chicken stock
I large firm desert apple cut into eighths
Calvados (or equivalent Brandy)
Bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
Butter and Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cooking Method For Chicken Normande

This is a dish that can be cooked in one large oven proof dish preferably with high sides and a lid. Pre-heat your oven to 180°c

First brown your seasoned chicken quarters or thighs all over in a little olive oil  – you can use any other cuts here just cook for a shorter time period if you are using chicken breast. When well coloured remove from the pan and put aside in a warm place.

Add your sliced and grated vegetables to the pan. Cook them gently until very soft and translucent with the lid on. When done return the chicken to the pan along with any juices.

Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover add sufficient water to just cover the meat. If you have it use chicken stock here as it will add considerable depth of flavour to the sauce . Place in the oven covered for about 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.

While the chicken is braising fry the the mushrooms in butter until they have slight colour. Next fry the apple pieces in butter with a little salt until they brown.

When the chicken is done remove herbs and add in the mushrooms and cream. I you enjoy pyrotechnics or have an audience pour several tablespoons of the calvados over the apple in the warm pan and flambe. Otherwise just use it to deglaze adding the Calvados and any apple pan juices to the sauce. Arrange the liquor infused apple on top of the chicken and serve.