Chicken Normandy – Two Ways

Chicken Normandy, also known as Poulet a la Normande, was originated in the Normandy region in the North of France. Normandy is known for its’ delicious, sweet and tart apples used to make cider and Calvados. Both of these ingredients are key in the traditional preparation of this dish. My mother, who trained as a Chef in Switzerland, always made the traditional recipe. The combination of apples and cream results in a hearty fragrant dish that will definitely warm you up on a crisp night. Enjoy this dinner with a full bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon. The first recipe is my mother’s traditional one and the second recipe is my version. A more simple, faster but equally delicious recipe. Let me know what you think.

Chicken Normandy ( Poulet a la Normande)

serves 4

  • 8 pieces of bone in chicken (legs and thighs)
  • flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored and sliced) – I like Gaja
  • 1 onion (peeled, halved and sliced)
  • 1/2 Cup Calvados
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider ( cloudy type)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375

Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.

Turn on stove to medium high and melt butter in an oven proof pan. Add apple slices and sauté until starting to brown, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove apples from pan and set aside.

Add oil and chicken skin side down. Brown chicken on all sides. You can do this in batches if necessary. Set chicken aside.

Add onions and sauce until starting to brown and caramelize. Do not burn them. Add brandy to pan and scrape bits from bottom. Allow alcohol to reduce by half. Add apple cider and chicken broth and reduce by half.

Put chicken back into pan, skin side up and put in oven, uncovered

Roast for 25 minutes – until chicken is cooked through.

Remove from oven and place back on stove top – be careful because pan will be hot.

Remove chicken and place on serving plate.

Turn stove on to medium heat and add cream and mustard. Allow sauce to thicken. Add apple slices.

Pour sauce over chicken and serve. I like to serve this dish with buttered egg noodles.

The next recipe is an updated version on Poulet a la Normande. I added bacon and removed the cream and mustard. The result is a lighter, smokier sauce. This recipe uses chicken breast instead of bone-in chicken and will be ready in about 45 minutes which makes it an ideal dinner on a busy day. I like to serve this chicken with mashed potatoes and a simple green salad. Enjoy!

Chicken Normandy with Bacon

serves 4

chicken with bacon

Quick and Easy

  • 2 pounds thin sliced chicken breast dredged in flour seasoned with black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup applejack or apple brandy
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider – cloudy type
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Melt butter in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Saute apple slices until beginning to soften and brown lightly. Remove apples from pan and set aside. Add bacon and cook until brown but not crispy. Remove bacon from pan but keep the rendered fat in pan. Add chicken to pan and brown on both sides. You do not want to cook the chicken through, just brown on each side. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add sliced onions to pan and cook until they are caramelized, around 15 minutes. Do not rush it, you want the onions to get golden brown but not burn. This takes time. After the onions are brown add thyme and deglaze the pan with Applejack or brandy. Allow to reduce and then add cider and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and return chicken to pan. Allow chicken and sauce to cook together until sauce reduces by half and chicken is cooked through. Keep turning chicken so sauce sinks in. Remove chicken from pan and place on a serving plate. Add apples to sauce to warm them up for a few minutes.

Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

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