Chicken Normandy (Poulet à la Normande)
Time requirement: 25-30 minutes.
At it base this is chicken cutlet breaded and sautéed as if one were making Chicken Milanese, but it is finished with a classic sauce of cream, mushrooms, and calvados (apple brandy); these are the three elements that give the dish is Norman identity. It is very easy to prepare and delicious.
What you will need:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves.
8 ounces of button mushrooms.
½ teaspoon salt.
2 cups panko breadcrumbs.
½ cup heavy cream.
½ cup chicken stock.
2 tablespoons white wine.
¼ cup calvados or apple brandy.
3 tablespoons of clarified butter or a neutral oil like a light olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. and warm 3 plates in the oven
Chopped parsley as an optional garnish.
Clean and slices the mushrooms. Spray some oil in a 12-inch nonstick fry pan and warm the pan over a medium heat, add the sliced mushrooms: Spray the mushrooms with a little oil, sprinkle the salt over them, and toss. Cook the mushrooms over a low heat for 12-15 minutes, tossing them from time to time. The purpose of this low heat, long cooking method, is to avoid the use of a lot of oil that the mushrooms would otherwise absorb. When the mushrooms are done remove them to plate. Wipe out the pan with some paper towels.
Place the plates in the oven to warm.
While the mushrooms are cooking, flatten the chicken breasts by placing them between two sheets of wax paper and pound them with the bottom of a heavy pan. Don’t be too rough. You do not want to break the countertop. Season with a touch of salt and pepper, and if you want, a hint of garlic powder (the garlic, is not customarily but I like it.)
Crack the eggs on a plate and beat them thoroughly to combine the whites and yolk.
On another plate place the breadcrumbs.
Combine the cream, stock, and wine in a bowl and mix them thoroughly.
Measure out the calvados and set aside.
Now it’s time to cook the chicken. To the pan that you cooked the mushrooms, add 2 tablespoons of clarified butter, and if you do not have that use a neutral oil like a light olive oil. Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the chicken to the egg and turn it several times.
When the oil is hot, lower the heat to a medium low.
Acting quickly, dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs, then again in the egg, then again in the breadcrumbs and then slip the chicken into the plan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. You want to achieve a nice even brown crust from the bread crumbs.
Remove the chicken to one of the warming plates in the oven.
Add the calvados to the frypan and deglaze the bottom of the pan, add the mushrooms to the pan along with the cream mixture. Gently cook until the cream sauce reduces to the thickness of an uncooked egg yolk.
Divided the sauce between the two warm plates and top each with a chicken cutlet. Add some chopped parsley as a garnish if so desired.