CHICKEN BRAISED WITH APPLES AND CIDER

 

2 firm, tart apples, peeled, cored, cut in eights

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 3½–4-lb. chicken, quartered

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves kept whole

¼ cup Calvados (apple brandy)

1 cup apple cider

4 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

½ pound mushrooms, cultivated or wild

½ cup cream

 

Coming from Normandy, this poulet du valee d’Auge chicken is do delicious that I make it very often. Using apples and cider this is perfectly suited for cold and dreary autumn dinners. Well, seems like in my country we have the best apples in the entire world. Same with cider and mushrooms. Not to forget free range chickens.  So it may be easily adapted and a Polish dish. And a delightful one. OK, no matter where it comes from, it is definitely well worth a try and with slight modifications and the used of local ingredients be kept as a local dish.

Increase heat to medium-high and add oil to pot. Season chicken with salt and pepper and, working in batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to another plate; set aside. Add shallots and garlic to pot; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat, add Calvados, and ignite with a long match or lighter. After flames die down, return pot to heat and add cider. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return reserved chicken to pot and add thyme, bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer, adding mushrooms and 1 apple cut in eights  to pot halfway through, until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Whisk in crème fraîche into cooking liquid in pot. Gently mix with in chicken, apples, and mushrooms and cook until the crème fraiche thickens slightly. At the very end mix in apple caramelized in butter.

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