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Chicken fricassee with apples in a wine & tarragon sauce

Chicken fricassee with apples in a wine & tarragon sauce

This lovely classic French dish is halfway between a saute and a stew; Pink Lady apples and the wine, herbs and mushrooms of the Maine-et-Loire region create a warming supper for everyday eating or entertaining even on the other side of the channel.

  • Preparation: 20 mins
  • Cooking: 45 mins
  • Serves: 4

What you need:

  • 1 whole chicken (preferably free range) jointed or 8 chicken joints, i.e., thighs/drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 4 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 150ml Rose d'Anjou or any French dry white wine
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 Pink Lady apple, halved, cored and cut into slices
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp tarragon, plus extra for garnish, finely chopped

What you do:

  1. Pre heat oven 180C˚/160C˚ fan/Gas 4.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, cook the chicken pieces over a high heat until golden brown, turning at regular intervals, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the frying pan and place it in an ovenproof casserole dish. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the frying pan.
  3. Add the butter, garlic, shallots and mushrooms to the frying pan and allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring. Remove the contents and add to the casserole dish with the chicken.
  4. Pour the vinegar into the frying pan and simmer for a few seconds then add the wine and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes, reduce the heat and add the tomato, Pink Lady apple and herbs and season to taste. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the casserole, cover with a lid and cook for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is juicy, tender and piping hot.
  5. Stir in the creme fraiche, if using, and sprinkle with the extra tarragon.
  6. Serve with saute potatoes and Tenderstem broccoli or a rocket salad.

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Pink Lady apples

Pink Lady apples

Pink Lady apples have a distinctive crisp texture and fizzy flavour – similar to champagne. It takes 200 days of tender care and, once ripe, each apple undergoes a rigorous quality control process to ensure that the high standard is kept – only the best apples can become a Pink Lady apple. Pink Lady apples are perfect culinary apples as they retain their texture and unique flavour and little, if any, additional sugar needs to be added.

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