Cooking to impress? Give this classic chicken Normandy a try. Whole chicken legs are braised in NY apple cider and brandy, then served in a sauce made from sautéed apples, onions and cream. Though chicken Normandy originates in France, we find that NY apples fit right in!
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 NY apples, cored and sliced into wedges
- Flour for dredging
- 4 whole chicken legs (with thighs)
- Salt to taste
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced lengthwise into wedges
- ½ cup brandy
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ½ cup cream
- Sprinkle salt over the chicken pieces and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature while you prep the other ingredients and sauté the apples in the next step.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the NY apple slices and sauté until they begin to brown, turning occasionally. Sprinkle the apple slices with a pinch of salt. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- Dredge the chicken in flour and place the pieces in the sauté pan, skin side down. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes each side on medium to medium-high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the onions and increase the heat to medium-high. Spread the onion slices in an even layer to cover the pan. As the onions cook, they will release moisture that will help deglaze the pan of the browned bits from the chicken. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the brandy to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any remaining browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Let the brandy boil until it has reduced by about half. Add the apple cider and bring it to a boil. Sprinkle in the thyme. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture.
- Arrange the chicken legs in the pan so the skin faces up and is not submerged by the cider-brandy mixture. Place in the oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside. Place the pan back on a stovetop burner on high heat. Add the apples and boil down the sauce by half.
- When the sauce reduces to the point where it's a little syrupy, add the cream and remove from heat. Taste for salt and add some if needed. To serve, drizzle apples and onions with sauce and top with chicken.