Stage 6, Dinan – Lisieux: Normandy abounds in gastronomic delights, including cream and camembert. Gabriel visits an apple farm where he learns the secret of making good Calvados. In the kitchen Gabriel prepares a poulet Vallée d'Auge, a family chicken dish cooked in cider and Calvados and served with a creamy mushroom sauce.
- 100 g butter
- 8 chicken pieces with bones and skin on (preferably thighs and drumsticks)
- 20 ml Calvados liqueur
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 shallots, cut into quarters
- 150 ml cider
- 250 g mushrooms
- 2 apples, peeled, halved, cored, then each half cut into 4 segments
- 200 ml cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat 25 g butter in a large cast-iron pan and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Add the Calvados and flame. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shallots and cider, and shake the pan. Cover with foil and a lid and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
Heat 25 g butter in a separate pan and cook the mushrooms for a few minutes.
Heat the remaining butter in a large pan and cook the apple quarters until soft.
Add the mushrooms to the chicken, then add the cream and mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.
Serve the chicken and sauce on a large platter surrounded by the apple pieces.