Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chicken Normandy

This recipe came from Simply Recipes, which I tweaked a little, where indicated.  It was wonderful.  Make this now.  It will make you very happy.  I promise.

It was so good I forgot to take pictures.  Then it was gone.  All gone. 


4 Tbsp butter (always a good way to start)

2 cooking apples (I used Granny Smith), cored and sliced into wedges (I left the peel on, but you don't have to.)
8 chicken thighs (These are really cheap, so that's why I used them, but you could use any type of chicken you want.  This is America, after all)

6 slices of bacon, diced (This was Matthew's suggestion, not in the original recipe.  Brought a tear to my eye.  That's my boy!)

Salt & pepper

1 large onion, peeled, sliced

1/2 cup brandy (apple brandy or Calvados if you have it -- I didn't)  (And, you could totally skip this and just use a little more cider).

1 cup apple cider (the cloudy type) (The recipe called for 2 cups, but I thought that was too much)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 cup heavy cream cream


1. Sprinkle salt over the chicken pieces and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large, oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apple slices and sauté until they turn a little brown around the edges, turning occasionally. Sprinkle the apple slices with a little salt. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

3. Place the chicken pieces in the sauté pan, skin side down. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter. Fry until golden, about 3-5 minutes on medium to medium-high heat on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.  (Here's where I cheated.  I actually grilled my chicken the day before, and warmed it in the over while I made the sauce).

4. Increase the heat to medium-high.  Saute the diced bacon until a little crispy.  (I used the pre-cooked, so there wasn't a lot of grease.  If you're using raw bacon, you may need to take out some of the grease). Add the onions in an even layer to cover the pan.  Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, about 5-8 minutes.

5. Add the brandy to the pan, if using. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any remaining browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the brandy boil until it has reduced by about half. Add the cider and bring it to a boil.

6. Sprinkle in the thyme. Add just a pinch of salt to the cider. Arrange the chicken in the pan so the skin faces up and is not submerged by the cider-brandy mixture. Place in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  (Unless you used my method.  Then just place the warmed pieces into the sauce and let simmer for a few minutes.)

7. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside. Place the pan back on a stovetop burner on high heat. Add the apples and boil down the sauce by half.

8. When the sauce reduces to the point where it's a little syrupy, add the cream and turn down the heat. Taste for salt and add some if needed.

To serve, spoon some apples and onions on the plate, top with sauce and a piece of chicken.
Serves 4.

Did I mention how good this was?  I think I liked the last of the sauce off the plate.
Bon Apetit!


  1. I'm gonna try this, sounds good!

  2. It really was. I'm putting this one into my regular stable of recipes. It was actually pretty easy to make.