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Poulet vallee d’auge


  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-1/2 centimeter pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 Cortland or Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 to 12 wedges
  • 4 full chicken legs, split into thighs and drumsticks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small leek, halved and cut on a bias into 1-1/2 centimeter rounds
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) apple cider
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) chicken broth
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut on a bias into 1 centimeter thick rounds
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut on a bias into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) crème fraiche or full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons (8 grams) finely chopped parsley


  1. Cook bacon in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about seven to nine minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a plate.
  2. Add one tablespoon (15 grams) of butter to saucepan drippings with apples. Cook until golden, about five to seven minutes. Transfer apples to a plate and set aside.
  3. Increase saucepan heat to medium-high.
  4. Season chicken with salt and pepper and working in batches.  Add chicken skin side down and cook until golden, about five minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the plate with bacon and set aside. 
  5. Add remaining butter, leek and shallot to pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about three minutes. 
  6. Turn off heat to saucepan. Pour two tablespoons of Calvados into a small bowl or measuring cup before adding carefully to the saucepan. Using a barbeque lighter and keeping a safe distance from the saucepan, ignite the brandy in the pan and cook (flambé) until liquid has absorbed.
  7. Return heat to saucepan, add wine, cider, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook for two or three minutes.
  8. Add parsnips, carrots, chicken and bacon.
  9. With saucepan covered, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. 
  10. Transfer 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of cooking liquid to a small bowl. Whisk crème fraiche and lemon juice together with cooking liquid.
  11. Add mixture and apples back into the saucepan, stirring to combine. Simmer on low heat for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Stir in parsley just before serving.

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