Apple chicken casserole
To me, nothing says “fall” more than this dish, because it has everything that fall is all about – pumpkin, chicken (because spring chickens start to be more an edible size), apples, cider, and herbs. Fall is not the only thing I think about when I make this long, long stewed chicken. Every time I make this dish, I remember how in 2006, with my mouth wide open, I watched an ARTE TV show about Normandy. There was an old man cooking a traditional Norman dish (something like this) just with – guess what – lots of butter and sweet cream (they are craaaazy about that there). The next day, I made this dish. I was so happy about something that I try to make it every fall when we have plenty of apples in our parents’ gardens. And the best thing is that you just put the casserole into the oven and do what you need to do.
40 ml virgin olive oil for cooking
1.5 kg organic or free range chicken, cut into pieces
100 g peeled shallots, finely chopped
500 g cored apples, in quarters
750 ml dry apple cider
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 anise stars
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
400 g peeled mealy pumpkin, in pieces
10 spring of thyme
1 tsp Malabar (or any other black pepper) pepper, finely crushed
sea salt to taste
Heat the oven to 200°.
Heat a casserole on the stove until it's hot. Add 30 ml of oil. Fry the chicken pieces in the casserole without a lid until they are brown. Do this in batches. Take the pieces out of the casserole.
Add the rest of the oil. Add onion, turn the heat down low, add salt and sauté for 10 minutes. Add apples, fennel, anise, and cider. Turn on the highest heat and boil for 5 minutes. Add mustard, mix, and transfer everything to a heatproof bowl.
Put the chicken pieces back into the pan with the pumpkin. Pour over the apples with all of the liquid, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add thyme. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 160° and sauté for 5 – 6 hours. Serve with potatoes, haricots, pasta, salad or slice of bread.
Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Plates and accessories from H&M Home
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s