After reading Judy's and Wendy's Slow Talk posts about "Somerset Chicken" and "Normandy Chicken", both cooked with apples, I decided it was the perfect dish for Sunday evening's dinner, as we had been to the apple farms of Oak Glen that morning.
I looked at several recipes for "Chicken Normandy", and liked Emeril's addition of bacon. I had 4 slices of pancetta to use up, and a PILE of apples. So, why not add an Italian ingredient to this French classic dish? Alas, I had no Calvados OR hard cider, but I had unfiltered cider and brandy. Time to improvise!
4 sliced pancetta, chopped
4 chicken thighs
flour for dredging
1/2 a large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 large apples, cored, peeled and sliced (I used honey snap)
1/2 c. brandy
1 c. apple cider
1/3 c. cream
4 T unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
I diced and cooked the pancetta, and removed it from the pan. Then I dredged the chicken thighs in flour, salt and pepper, and browned them well on each side. Remember, thighs take longer to cook than breasts! I removed the chicken from the pan. I cooked the onions for 4 min., then added the brandy, and reduced it by half. I added the cider and reduced it again. Add apples and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cream and simmer. Add the butter a little at a time, until you have a rich, thick sauce. Return chicken to pan and finish cooking through. Add thyme. When chicken is done, serve with apples and sauce, and sprinkle crisp pancetta on top.