"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicken, Apples, & Cream a la Normande: French Fridays with Dorie

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Chicken, Apples, @ Cream a la Normande
Chicken, Apples, @ Cream a la Normande

I think my family actually looks forward to my French Friday dish either to mock, or enjoy it. 

My kids roll their eyes and ask, "What French thing are we gunna have this week?" 

When I said, "Chicken, Apples and Cream." 

My husband actually said, "Oh, a dish from Normandy." 

"How did you know that?" 

"I just do...Normandy is famous for it's apple and cream dishes." 

And so it is... 

I loved the simplicity of this dish. No dutch oven this time. Skillet cooking, yeah! As usual there was something in the recipe that I would never have thought of combining: apples and mushrooms...who would have thought?? Along with the cream, they made a warm winter sauce for the chicken. 

I made the lemon spinach that Dorie recommended because I was concerned about the dish being too sweet. It really wasn't, but it I liked the contrast between the bitter greens and the sweet creamy apple sauce.

The only ingredient I wish I chose differently was the liquor. The local "packie" as it is called in New England (I shop in CT, because I live on the border.) 
Did not have Calvados...it had APPLE JACK, like the cereal but worse.

Apple Jack tastes like the shot of alcohol you regret stealing from your parent's liquor cabinet. 

Yuck!... my husband assured me, "It will taste better in the dish." 

It didn't taste any worse, but it didn't add anything either. Please tell me Dorista's does the Calvados taste like apples? My son thought hard apple cider might have added a more intense apple flavor to the sauce or even an apple flavored brandy?

We will experiment with the sauce, especially after reading your posts and comments. Overall this was a deliciously warming winter meal.

This is a similar recipe: Chicken Normandy

Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

 







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22 comments:

  1. Calvados is much smoother than Apple Jack. It does have the essence of apple - hard cider might have worked. (Boiled cider would have definitely added the apple flavor.)

    This was nice winter food.

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    1. I will try find Calvados. I figured that it would have real apple essence, thanks Cher.

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  2. Diane, I thought I had Calvados but didn't. I have no idea what I added as the "booze", I just picked up a bottle and poured. My dish was delicious so guess I might continue with the Blind leading the Blind. I think the spinach might be good with this dish and wish I'd tried it. I was so hungry by the time I got it made, I just put a salad together and ate it. Card on its way. Sounds as if your kids will be fun to have around during the holidays. They seem like nice ones.

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    1. I think if I even put some good brandy it would have been better than that horrible Apple Jack. I'm not sure what I am going to do with the bottle?

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  3. It looks delicious, Diane. I actually like Apple Jack (Laird's). It worked for me in this dish, but I like to add a shot to hot apple cider too. I like your son's idea about hard cider instead, though. Nice! Hope you have a good weekend. I saw you mention that you live near Newtown. The tragedy is heartbreaking. I can't imagine how it feel to be close by. Hang in there.

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    1. Thanks... it was a very stressful day. There was talk of a shooter at large I was scared to drive around. It took me the whole day to find out if friends children were all right. Terrifying when national news is in your backyard.

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  4. I used brandy and we really enjoyed the flavor it gave the sauce. I think apple cider would taste wonderful in this. I also saw on your post that you live near Newton. We feel so helpless being so far away and our hearts are aching for everyone involved. Take care.

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    1. Thank you Elaine... if you knew this town you just would not believe this could happen. It is a Norman Rockwell town, sleepy and beautiful.

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  5. I used regular brandy rather than apple brandy and it turned out great. I'm not sure I would recommend apple cider, though ... I think it would be too acidic. Apple brandy (which is what Calvados is) is smooth and you can find it under other names. Calvados is the product from Normandy, like Champagne is the product from Champagne, France, but you can find other champagnes produced elsewhere (just don't tell the French that!).

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    1. Thanks Tammy, so any apple brandy. Good point about the acidicness of cider, esp. with cream, could be a problem.

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  6. I skipped the alcohol altogether this time, but was thinking even Cognac would be a nice addition to this dish.

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    1. Good to know it works without alcohol.

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  7. I wanted to buy Calvados, but I couldn't justify it for a measly 2 tablespoons. I knew that I would end up with a still full bottle of it two years later, wondering what the heck to use it. Instead I used Cognac, simply because it's what I already had. Thought it worked perfectly. It added great flavor, though, obviously not an appley one.

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    1. Cognac is a great idea and that is something I would drink later.

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  8. Spinach was a good way to serve this. Calvados is a wonderful liquor to cook with, but I don´t think you should buy a bottle just for this. I use it in baking apple recipes and love it. I used brandy and it was just as good. Lovely dish!

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    1. Thanks Paula, I am going to use the brandy I have the next time I make this.

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  9. Loved the way you served this dish with the spinach, Diane. Looks delicious!! I wish I could say I loved this dish, but I found it a bit flat!

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  10. Diane, what a very lovely plate with that spinach as a side dish - I am sure that this wonderful vegetable complimented this Norman chicken very nicely. Glad that you and your family enjoyed this recipe so much - it was delicious and indeed a very warming winter meal!

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  11. Hmmmm Apple Jack does sound like something you would regret stealing from your parents' liquor cabinet. At least it didn't ruin your dish. I went rogue with some cherry schnapps and it worked out fine but I am also intrigued by the Calvados. Next time I'm feeling fancy at the liquor store I will try to hunt some down. Your dish looks creamy and delicious!

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    1. I read about your cherry schnapps very daring. The true instinct of a great chef.

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