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Normandy Chicken Stew

This is a really lovely light type of stew, perfect for autumn or spring, when the weather is chilly but you’re not craving something too heavy. I like to serve it with buttery mash and dressed greens such as green beans or purple sprouting broccoli.

Serves: 2-4

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1hour 30 minutes


1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

6 chicken thighs, bone in & skin on

1 white onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves finely sliced

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

5-10 sprigs of thyme

3 sticks of rosemary

3 bay leaves

350ml dry cider

350ml chicken stock

3 tbsp apple sauce

Juice of ½ lemon

6-8 small shallots, peeled and halved

3 Braeburn apples


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Melt the butter with the oil in a large wide sauté pan which has a tight fitting lid over a medium heat. Season all sides of the chicken generously with salt.

  2. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken skin side down. Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes, turning regularly so it doesn’t burn or stick, so the the meat is sealed and all the skin is crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

  3. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly until the onion is translucent. Add the herbs and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant.

  4. Turn the heat up a little and add in the cider to deglaze the pan briefly, followed by the stock and apple sauce. Stir everything together and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken back to the pan, skin side up. The liquid should come to around half way up the chicken thighs. Cover the pan with a lid and put in the oven to cook for 30 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the oven carefully and using tongs, remove the chicken to a clean plate. Ladle or carefully pour the remaining sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a jug, straining out and discarding the vegetables and herbs. Pour most of the sauce back onto the pan, reserving a couple of tablespoons in the jug.

  6. Add the creme fraiche to the sauce and warm for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the flour to the slightly cooled sauce in the jug and mix well to combine into a smooth paste. Add this to the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken, stirring regularly. Add in the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper.

  7. Core and quarter or eighth the apples and add to the sauce along with the shallots and the chicken, skin side up. Cook, uncovered, in the oven for another 15 minutes to crisp up the skin and soften the apples.



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