Normandy is a region in the north of France that borders the English channel. Its rolling hills are home to dairy farms and apple orchards and the region is as famous for butter, cheeses, and cream as it is for apples, cider, and apple brandy. This dish is a Norman classic, combining fall-off-the-bone tender chicken with tart-sweet apples in a luscious, brandy-infused cream sauce.
4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 firm, tart apples, peeled, cored and cut in wedges
2 medium onions, dliced
2 carrots, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup brandy (apple brandy if you can get it)
1 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 1 cup hot water
1/2 cup heavy cream
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken to the pan. Sauté, turning once, untll the chicken is golden brown all over, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan and sauté the apples over medium heat, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the apples from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the brandy to the pan, then stand back and ignite it. When the flames die out, add the cider to the pan and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the diluted Glace de Poulet Gold® and bring the liquid back to a simmer. Return the chicken pieces and their juices to the pan and bring the liquid back to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and braise for 10 minutes.
Add the reserved apples to the pan, cover, and braise for another 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is fork tender and starting to come away from the bone.
Transfer the chicken to a warm platter and cover it with foil. Remove and discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs, add the cream to the pan, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken with the sauce and apples spooned over the top.
Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir or a buttery Chardonnay