Renowned British chef and prolific cookbook author Paul Gayler’s latest collection of recipes honors the birds: chicken, duck, quail, pheasant, grouse, squab, goose…you get it. If it flies, Gayler will cook it from beak to tail. Pick up a copy of Chicken & Other Birds — and a bottle of French apple cider while you’re at it.
Normandy is famous for its apple-growing, so there they cook chicken in local cider. In Alsace, the same dish is prepared using Riesling wine. I think this dish is delicious served with buttered noodles, but purists often like it with mashed potatoes.
- 4 large chicken legs, cut into thigh and drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry cider (preferably Normandy cider)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 Cox apples, peeled, cored and cut into small wedges
- 5 tablespoons double/heavy cream or crème fraîche
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Buttered noodles, to serve
For the chicken
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Put the oil and half the butter in a large lidded frying pan over medium heat. When they are hot, add the chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are browned.
Pour off the excess cooking fat and add the shallots. Cover the pan with a lid and sweat the shallots for 2 minutes.
Remove the lid and pour over the cider and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and add the apples.
Cover with the lid again and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken and apples from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a dish. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Return the cooking liquid to the heat, add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and return the chicken and apple to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then season to taste and serve with buttered noodles.