Chicken with Leeks, Apples and Cider (4)

A good version of this old fashioned French recipe from Diana Henry.

Chicken with Leeks, Apples and Cider (4)
Print Recipe
Chicken with Leeks, Apples and Cider (4)
Print Recipe
  1. Season the chicken pieces and heat 25g of the butter in a large sauté pan (one with a lid) or a wide casserole. Brown the chicken on both sides, then set the pieces on one side. Be careful not to burn the butter.
  2. Remove the tough outer leaves from the leeks. Trim the bases and cut off the tough, very dark leaves at the top. Wash the leeks really well, making sure that you get rid of any soil that has lodged in them. Cut into rounds about 3cm thick.
  3. Peel and core one of the apples, then cut it into wedges. Melt 15g of the butter in a small frying-pan and gently brown the apple pieces on each side. Set aside.
  4. Add the leeks to the fat in the chicken pan and sauté without browning for about 10 minutes – the leeks should soften but not become sloppy. Add the flour and stir it into the juices. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add the cider, stirring all the time.
  5. Put the pan back on the heat, bring to the boil then add the chicken, six sprigs of the thyme and the sautéed apple. Immediately turn the heat down to a simmer. Put the lid on and leave to cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through, with no trace of pink.
  6. Lift the chicken pieces out of the casserole and simmer the cooking juices until reduced by about a third. Add the cream, bring to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Peel, core and cut up the other apple into wedges, and put it in the small frying-pan in which you cooked the first apple. Sauté gently in the remaining 15g butter, adding the caster sugar to help the slices caramelise nicely on the outside.
  8. Add the chicken back to the sauce and heat gently. At the last minute, add the sautéed apples. Pick the leaves off the remaining sprigs of thyme, sprinkle over the chicken and serve immediately with mash or boiled new potatoes.
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