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French chicken with apple-cognac sauce--NEW

Recipe: French chicken with apple-cognac sauce--NEW NEW


    Today's recipe is all about easy cooking for company. There's a traditional French country dish called "Poulet Vallee d'Auge. It translates to chicken with applejack sauce. Calvados is French apple brandy. You can use that in this dish if you want to be authentic. What I've done is change the dish enough to simplify it, change the ingredients so they are more readily available, and still kept it fancy enough that you can serve it to special friends and family.

Serves 4. Can be doubled easily.


    4 chicken breasts. Skin on with bones, or skinless. Your choice.
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 Tbl of olive oil
    Olive oil spray to coat the veggies.
    2 baking potatoes, washed. Peeling is optional. Cut into one-inch chunks.
    2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rings (or you can use baby carrots, snack sized)
    2 medium onions cut into wedges
    ¼ pound of green beans. If you want to be fancy use haricot verts (French green beans). Trim the ends.
    1 medium zucchini washed, cut into chunks
    2 Tbl of butter
    1/3 cup of Calvados, cognac or bourbon (If you use Calvados you can eliminate the apple juice)
    ½ cup of apple juice (buy the tiny bottle in the baby food section if you don't want a lot of leftover apple juice)
    1 cup of half and half (or cream if you want to calorie splurge)


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    Season the chicken with your salt and pepper. In a sauté pan put in the olive oil. Brown the chicken skin side down. This will take about 3-5 minutes on medium high. Turn chicken over. SAVE the pan that the chicken was in. You'll use it again later. Then transfer the chicken to the oven in an oven proof dish. (If you sautéed the chicken in a pan that can go in the oven you don't need to transfer). The chicken will continue to roast. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes and then remove.

    Next, take the potato, carrots and onions and put them in an oven proof casserole. Spray them with olive oil to coat them. Roast them along with the chicken.

    After 30 minutes has passed, add the green beans and the zucchini to the pan with the potatoes. Take out the chicken and cover it to keep it warm. Take the sauté pan and add butter, the cognac (or other liquor) and apple juice. Saute the sauce on medium high to get it boiling. Then turn down and simmer until it reduces by half. Stir periodically. Then add the half and half and continue to cook until the cream begins to thicken and coat the back of a spoon (as a tester). This takes just a minute or two. Turn off. Take the veggies out of the oven and pour the sauce over them to coat. This makes a slightly sweet sauce that pairs well with the chicken.

    Note: if you do not cook with alcohol you can substitute water for the alcohol and use the apple juice as noted. The sauce will have less of a bite but will still be tasty.

Serving Suggestions:

    Put the chicken on a plate (or in a bowl) and spoon the veggies and sauce over the chicken. This is French Country cooking at its finest. Garnish with parsley if you want more color. Serve with some bread to soak up the sauce and a simple salad and you have a satisfying, yummy dinner.

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola

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