Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Normandy Roast Chicken




I've been getting rather bored with my standard mid-week roast chicken recipes - I usually just throw them into roast with maybe some Indian or Italian spices/pastes to change them up from a classic Sunday roast chicken - and I always seem to serve it with rice..... so, so boring but after work it has to be something easy....

So anyway, I had this small corn-fed chicken sat there ready for me to do something exciting and I had no idea what - all I knew was that I didn't want to do the usual......


.......and then I saw the fruit bowl full of apples - it reminded me of a recipe I read in a french cook book years ago. It was for a pot roast chicken cooked with apples and Normandy cider. We are all used to coq au vin as a classic french dish well this is the Normandy version of the dish using cider instead of red wine and, in my humble opinion, much nicer. I usually have a bottle of cider in the rack and some creme fraiche in the fridge so I was good to go....

So here's what I did.....

Recipe - serves 4

Medium size whole chicken
200g smoked lardons ( you can use rashers of bacon cut into bits)
1 onion - sliced
3 cloves garlic - left whole
300ml dry cider
300ml chicken stock
2 eating apples - I used braeburn they are crisp, sweet & hold their flavour when cooked
4 tbsp creme fraiche
some olive oil
Thyme sprigs
handful freshly chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180C/Gas 4


so here we go..... pop a good slug of olive oil in a large oven proof pan and place on a medium heat...


Add your sliced onions and cook gently to soften....


Remove the onions and add the lardons - cook until crispy & lovely - Mmmm the smell of bacon cooking.........


Remove the lardons and set aside with the onions.

Add some more olive oil to the pan if needed and brown the whole chicken all over.....


Make sure you leave it to brown properly - I didn't hence the ripped skin - you will want to brown the top more than I was able to after the skin damaging incident!


Remove the chicken from the pan and drain of a little of the excess oil. Heat the pan and add your cider and chicken stock.......scrape up any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.....


Put half the lardons & onions in the bottom of the pan, Add the chicken and then cover with the rest of the onions & lardons. Pop your thyme sprigs around the chicken, spoon over some of the stock, pop the lid on and put in the oven.....


Leave in the oven for 50 minutes......


Remove the pan from the oven and add your apples (sliced & cored but not peeled) and the garlic cloves - I left mine on top for the photo but tuck yours down in the juices......

Pop back in the oven, with the lid off, for a further 20 - 30 minutes.......Until the chicken juices run clear.

Stir in the creme fraiche and sprinkle on the chopped parsley and 'voila' you have chicken Normandy!

 Normandy Chicken

Serve with mash potato, green beans or a green salad......


This was a really tasty and succulent way to cook chicken. I used a really dry somerset cider (so perhaps it should be called Somerset not Normandy Chicken) the dry cider went with the chicken very well - not adding too much sweetness which you would get if your apples and cider were on the sweet side..also I think this recipe could be adapted for pork - I'll try it and let you know!

Have a happy Wednesday

Lizx