Chicken Normandy, also known as “Poulet à la Normande”, is a classic French dish that’s simple to make, yet luxurious and perfect for a cosy supper.
If there ever was a dish that embodied the spirit of Autumn, it would have to be Normandy chicken. It’s a wonderful combination of chicken, apples, cream and cider, which creates a perfect blend of sweet, savoury and creamy elements.
The apple and cider give the dish such a cosy, comforting Autumnal/Fall vibe. It’s one of those recipes that feels like a special treat, but it’s very simple to put together.
I’ve given you directions on how to cook this recipe on the hob or in the oven. If you choose the oven option, make sure you use a pan that you can use on the hob and oven. I use this cast iron skillet.
- bacon lardons add a lovely savoury, salty depth to the dish.
- Chicken: bone in, skin on chicken pieces will give the sauce a lovely rich flavour. I wouldn’t recommend using skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
- plain (all purpose) flour for dusting the chicken before cooking.
- butter and oil: A combination of both adds the right balance of flavour and prevents the butter from burning.
- Onions and garlic form the base of the sauce.
- fresh thyme pairs beautifully with the chicken and apples.
- Brandy: A good quality brandy (apple brandy would be perfect) is a traditional ingredient for deglazing the pan. However, if you have none, then just use a splash of cider.
- Apple (hard) cider: You really need a good brand of apple cider for Normandy chicken. Please don’t use Strongbow or anything similar! The better quality cider, the better flavour. Note – if you’re in the U.S, please bear in mind that when I mention cider, I mean hard (alcohol) apple cider, not pressed juice.
- Chicken stock
- Dijon mustard
- Apples: Any kind of eating apples are fine to use. Pink Lady, Braeburn, Cox’s, Jazz, Granny Smiths or Royal Gala would be great.
- Double (heavy) cream. If you don’t eat dairy, use a plant based cream alternative, such as Alpro or Oatly.
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
how to make it
In this dish, chicken pieces, preferably bone-in and skin-on, are first seared in butter to develop a golden crust. Then onions and garlic are gently sauteed until soft. Brandy is used to deglaze the pan, infusing the dish with a distinctive flavor. Sweet apples and woody herbs (bay and thyme) are added to the mix, creating a delightful contrast with the creamy sauce.
The dish is braised until the chicken is tender and fully cooked. Finally, a splash of cream is introduced to the pan, resulting in a rich and velvety sauce that coats the chicken and apples.
The combination of the tender chicken, bacon, apples and creamy cider sauce is pretty wonderful.
It’s a rather fancy-looking dish, yet it’s easy enough to prepare. From start to finish, it will take you just under one hour to make.
- Take your time when searing the chicken. You need the skin crisp with a deep golden colour. This will not only give the chicken a more appealing look, it will also lock in flavour.
- Using chicken pieces with the skin and bone on will impart so much flavour into the dish. They take longer to cook than skinless boneless chicken parts, but it’s worth it.
- This is not a dish you want to cook on a hectic weeknight. It’s more suited to a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you have a little time on your hands.
- The first couple of times I made chicken Normandy I sliced the apples and added them straight into the pan, but I would advise against doing this. It’s much better to gently fry the apples in a little butter before adding to the chicken. Yes, more butter. Told you this is a luxurious dish!
Chicken Normandy can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat on the hob in a saucepan on a low-medium heat until piping hot (about 15 minutes) or in a preheated oven (180C/160F) for around 20 minutes or until the chicken is steaming hot.
The sauce will separate after a day or two in the fridge, so you’ll need to give it a good stir.
Make as directed and cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
more chicken dinner ideas
- Marry me chicken
- Chicken Schnitzel recipe
- Easy Coronation chicken
- slow cooker chicken curry
- slow cooker bbq pulled chicken
- easy sweet and sour chicken
- 4 skin on, bone in Chicken portions thighs, legs or breasts - see notes below for cooking times
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 sweet eating apples, core removed and sliced into wedges (I used Pink Ladies)
- 100g bacon lardons or pancetta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- One medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 50ml brandy (optional, or cider)
- 150ml chicken stock
- 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- One bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 500ml hard dry apple cider
- 100ml double (heavy) cream
- Dredge the chicken: Pat the chicken pieces dry and season them generously with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and add the chicken, turning the pieces in the flour so they have a thin, even coating.
- Sauté the apples: Melt the butter in a oven suitable heavy based skillet or pan over low- medium heat. Add the sliced apples and cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through or until the apples are beginning to turn golden around the edges. Remove the apples from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Cook the bacon lardons: Add the bacon lardons and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often until the bacon starts to turn golden and crisp up a little. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Sear the Chicken: Melt the oil and butter in the pan over medium-high heat. Place the the chicken pieces in the pan. Brown on all sides for about 5 minutes on each side or until they develop a golden crust. This step adds depth of flavour to the dish. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. The chicken will not be properly cooked yet.
- Sauté the onions: Add the chopped onions to the pan. Cool on a low-medium heat until they become translucent and soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes or until fragrant.
- Deglazing with Brandy: Pour in the brandy and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it gently bubble for a minute or two to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Pour in the chicken stock, cider and mustard. Stir well.
- Finish cooking on the hob/stovetop option: Return the chicken pieces to the pan. add the fresh thyme sprigs, bay leaf and apples, then cover and let it simmer on a low-medium heat for about 30-40 minutes. This allows the flavours to meld together and the chicken to cook through.
- Oven option: If you prefer, you can finish cooking the dish in rhe oven (preheat to180C/160Fan/350F) for 40-45 minutes. An oven thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken (not touching bone) should reach 75C(167F).
- Finishing with Cream: Pour in the double cream and gently stir it into the sauce. Let it gently cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
- Final Seasoning and Serving: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and discard.
- Plating: Serve the Chicken Normandy over a bed of mashed potatoes, rice or crusty bread to soak up the delectable sauce.
Storing and reheating leftovers:
Chicken Normandy can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat on the hob in a saucepan on a low-medium heat until piping hot (about 15 minutes) or in a preheated oven (180C/160F) for around 20 minutes or until the chicken is steaming hot. The sauce will separate after a day or two in the fridge, so you’ll need to give it a good stir.
Make the chicken as directed and cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 744mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 24g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.