This is an easy and delicious way to jazz up that chicken you've been too bored to face.
For one whole chicken or three to four pounds of chicken pieces:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Slick a pan (that can later go into the over, covered) with oil, heat to medium low. Add half a pound sliced mushrooms. Salt and pepper, toss around a bit, and cover for five minutes (you will interrupt the cooking to stir them around a bit). Remove mushrooms (now intensely mushroomed flavored) onto a plate. Braise your salt and peppered chicken pieces, skin side down first, 3-4 minutes a side, half that for the breasts. Remove to plate with mushrooms.
Saute 4 peeled and diced granny smith apples (really, I'm not fussy about which kind) 2-4 minutes until browned. Add a diced shallot, and four minced cloves of garlic. Saute and stir around until everything's soft.
If you have Calvados, a fancy French apple brandy, now's your time to add 1/4 cup. If not, brandy will do. Cook until reduced by half (the heat of the pan seems to do that practically immediately). Add two cups chicken broth, one half cup apple cider. Stir around, bring to a simmer, add chicken pieces (except white meat. Not yet!). Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour on top, and place into your oven for ten minutes. Remove, now add the white meat. Return to oven, covered, and braise for another 20 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and a tablespoon of butter. Gently mix, and it's ready!
Spectacularly full of flavor. We ate it with the English peas and Rosti potatoes, potato details to follow in a future post.
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