Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Poulet Vallée d'Auge" or Chicken legs with Calvados

Wil and I have been eating a lot of red meat in the past and with the end of my vegan week experiment I decided to bring more "healthy" variation in our culinary life's. Steak, roast beef and filet is great. 
But I'm slowly running out of ideas how to wrap them in a blogpost. That also counts for our mushroom picking madness. Therefore I looked through some cook books and food magazines 
and found this wonderful recipe in "Lust auf Genuss"
a German magazine I've been posting a few recipes from already.
I also haven't cooked with Calvados before and you actually SET IT ON FIRE...
...sorry: you flambee it.
It turned out super-delicious and was something completely different from what I normally cook.

You'll need:
for 4 servings

2 shallots
5 sourish apples
5 Tbsp butter
4 chicken legs
salt, pepper
approx. 5cl (1.7oz)  Calvados
100ml (3.4oz) chicken stock
200ml (6.8oz) cidre
1 bouquet garni (2sprigs of thyme and parsley, such as 1 bay leave tied together)
1tsp sugar
200ml (6.8oz) cream


Peel the shallots and quarter them. 
Divide one apple into eighth pieces and remove the core.      
Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a casserole or deep pan.

Rinse the chicken legs, dry them and season them with pepper and salt. 
Sauté the legs in the butter from both sides until golden brown, then take them out and set aside.

Sauté the shallots and apple in the dripping, place the chicken legs on top of them and pour the Calvados over it. By using a long match or one of these longer lighters, carefully lid the Calvados on fire. While you flambé, slightly shake the casserole so that the all the calvados catches fire. 

As soon as the alcohol has dissolved and the fire has extinguished and deglaze with chicken stock and 100ml/3.4oz of cidre. Add bouquet garni, cover the casserole up and let stew for about 30 minutes. In the meantime cut the other apples in each 8 pieces and remove the cores. In a pan melt the 2 leftover Tbsp butter and sauté the apple slices in it, pour the sugar on top and lightly caramelize. Deglaze with the  other half of the cidre (100ml/3.4oz). Add the apples to chicken legs in the casserole.

Mix in the cream and bring to the boil shortly. 
Season to taste with pepper and salt and serve with bread and a glass of white wine.

This guy obviously knows how to use his legs, still...


Next time I'll do this recipe again, I will add less cream. I had so much sauce and it was a little to creamy for me, which I think is unnecessary. Just add the cream step by step and decide yourself how much you want.

I will also remove the chicken legs before I add the cream and apples next time. They were just in the way when I wanted to mix everything together. And it looks nicer, too, when the legs aren't all covered in cream sauce...

The only downside to this recipe is that the skin of the legs isn't very crisp. If you have a broiler you probably could broil the legs on maximum heat for 5 minutes after cooking, before serving them with the sauce.

And, of course, you can replace the calvados and cidre with apple juice and not flambé the whole thing. But it certainly doesn't taste as good as with booze and it is far less fun.

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