How to make Chicken Calvados (aka Normandy Chicken.)
The “Sauté, Deglaze, and Serve” chapter of my book is filled with three dozen recipes that can be done in 30 minutes or less. Each recipe is a variation on a theme: You sauté the night’s meat in a skillet. Then, you deglaze the pan by pouring wine and broth into the drippings. As it boils and reduces, you stir up the tasty browned bits left in the skillet. Add a few defining touches–apples, grapes, or olives here, celery root or morels there, and fresh herbs almost everywhere.
And there you have it—a true-to France pan sauce in minutes. This recipe, which I found in Normandy, France (home of the famous apple brandy), is a quintessential, autumn-perfect recipe that showcases this easy technique. Others in the book include:
Nouvelle Chicken Veronique
Lamb Arm Chops with Herbes de Provence
Tuna Steaks with Honey, Mustard, and Thyme
Chicken Sauté with Sweet Potatoes, Bacon, and Rosemary
Pork Chops with Mustard, Capers, and Herbes de Provence
Pork Chops with Apricot and Sage
Beef Filet with Cherry and Red Wine Sauce
Trout Menage-à-Trois (with celery, pistachios, and garlic)
Get the hang of the Sauté, Deglaze, Serve method by trying my recipe for Chicken Calvados.
Makes 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 11/4 pounds total)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup Calvados or apple brandy or 1/2 cup apple juice or cider and 1/2 cup white wine
2 small tart apples, peeled if desired, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley or chives, or a combination
1. Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. (Alternatively, you can halve each breast horizontally, or butterfly them, as described on page 107.) Season both sides with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes (reduce the heat to medium if the meat browns too quickly). Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. Stir in the shallot and sauté briefly, until translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and add the broth and Calvados, taking care not to let the liquid spatter. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a wire whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the apples. Let the mixture boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, turning the apples occasionally—this should take about 4 minutes, depending on the heat and your pan size; it will take closer to 7 minutes if you substitute apple juice and wine for the Calvados.
4. Stir in 1/4 cup cream and boil until the sauce thickens and apples are crisp-tender. For a creamier sauce, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to boil until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on four dinner plates, spoon the sauce and apples over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.
Serving suggestion: Any-Night Baked Rice.