Chicken: Chicken Calvados

posted by Mimi Hiller 09-24-100 1:23 PM

Annette Gooch; Universal Press Syndicate

Apples tucked inside and all around the chickens flavor the meat; a sauce made with Calvados (aged French apple brandy) is the finishing touch. Applejack, a domestic apple brandy, can be substituted but won't produce as smooth a flavor.

Chicken Calvados

2 young chickens (21/2 to 3 pounds each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups unpeeled apple slices
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons apple brandy (preferably Calvados)
2 large red apples
2 tablespoons minced parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash chickens and pat dry, reserving wing tips and giblets. Lightly salt and pepper cavities of chickens. Reserve half of the onions; stuff remaining onions and the apple slices into chickens. Close cavities with skewers or kitchen string. Rub salt and pepper into chickens.

Combine reserved onions with wing tips and giblets in saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat, skimming scum from the surface. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour, uncovered (while chickens roast), then strain; reserve stock.

In a saucepan, combine butter, apple juice, oil and 2 tablespoons of the brandy; brush some of the mixture over chickens. Place chickens on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast 20 minutes; baste with remaining butter mixture and pan juices, then roast 20 minutes more.

Quarter and core large red apples. Slice quarters in half lengthwise; add to roasting pan. Continue roasting chickens, basting with pan juices occasionally. After 65 minutes total cooking time, check chickens for doneness; when done, remove from oven. Transfer apples to warm platter and chickens to cutting board to rest briefly.

To prepare sauce, pour off any fat in roasting pan; place pan over moderate heat. Add strained stock, scraping up any browned bits in pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons apple brandy. Turn heat to high; reduce liquid to 2/3 cup. Season with salt and pepper.

Discard apples and onions from cavities of chicken. Carve one of the chickens into quarters or smaller pieces; refrigerate. Carve second chicken for serving; arrange on platter with roasted apples. Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley before serving.

Yield: serves 6 to 8.

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