We always have dinner in the breakfast room -- it's the room of windows and in spring we can see what it starting to come up, in summer and fall, we can watch the birds as they dine, and in winter -- on days like today, we can watch the snow. I love to watch it snow!
So tonight, when we had dinner, we turned on the outside lights so that we could watch the snow fall.
And dinner tonight, in honor of the tour of Normandy that we booked for April, was chicken, apples and cream a la normande. From Dorie Greenspan's newest book around my french table.
Dinner in the sunroom -- the chicken with rice and steamed haricot verts. With music softly playing in the background, snow falling gently outside, and talk of Normandy inside.
Normandy, as you may know, is famous for apples, cider, Calvados, cream, Camembert and butter. This recipe utilizes most of what Normandy is famous for!
CHICKEN, APPLES AND CREAM A LA NORMANDE
Flour, for dredging
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, without tenders
1 - 2 T. butter
1 - 2 T. olive oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, thinly sliced and slices cut crosswise in half (I didn't have any mushrooms and didn't want to go to the store so my Chicken, Apples and Cream a la Normande was mushroomless!)
1/3 c. chicken broth
2 T. Calvados
2/3 c. heavy cream
Put some flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Pat the chicken pieces dry and run them through the flour, coating both sides, lightly and tapping off the excess.
Put a large deep skillet over medium high heat and add 1 T. each butter and oil. When the butter is melted, slip the chicken into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes to brown the underside, then turn over and cook for 3 minutes more.
If you're low on butter and oil, add a little more now, then toss in the apple, onion, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and turn the new additions around so that they're well mixed and glossy with butter and oil. Cook for 1 minute, then pour in the broth. When the broth bubbles, reduce the heat -- you want to keep it at a slow simmer -- and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is almost cooked through. (Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken pieces, start checking at the 6 minute mark.)
Turn the heat up again, pour in the Calvados and boil until it's almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the cream and keeping the heat on high, cook until the cream reduces by about one quarter, a matter of a few minutes. (If you're concerned that your chicken will overcook, transfer it to a serving platter and keep it warm, covered lightly). Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. If you removed the chicken, pour the sauce over it, if the dish is still intact, arrange it on a platter.
It's Wednesday and time for Outdoor Wednesday -- I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for once again, snow is falling outdoors on the prairie!