- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 3-1/2 to 4 pound chicken cut in serving pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces mushrooms brushed clean, stems trimmed, but into quarters
- Two 4 ounce onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Calvados
- 2 cups hard cider
- 1 cup crème fraîche or heavy
- 1 large egg yolk
- parsley sprigs for garnish
Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the chicken pieces skin-side down, season them with salt and pepper and cook until the skin is golden, which will take about 8 minutes. Turn, season, and cook until the meat or skin is brown on the other side, about 7 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a platter or bowl.
Add the mushrooms to the pan, stir, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and are golden, about 8 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the onions. Stir, season and cook, stirring frequently and scraping up the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, until the onions have softened and are nearly translucent, 6 to 7 minutes.
Return all the ingredients to the pan, including any juices that the chicken has given up, and add the Calvados, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. Making sure your hair is tied back, light the Calvados and stand back as the flames leap into the air. Let them burn until they are nearly extinct, shaking the pan from time to time, then pour in the cider and stir. When the liquids have come to a simmer, stir again, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is entirely cooked, which will take 35 to 45 minutes, turning the pieces every 15 minutes so that it cooks evenly.
When the chicken is cooked, stir in all but 1/4 cup of the crème fraîche, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Whisk the remaining crème fraîche with the egg yolk, and stir this into the sauce in the pan, moving the chicken so that you can evenly stir in the mixture. The sauce will thicken perceptibly almost immediately. Remove the pan from the heat, adjust the seasoning, and serve the Poulet Vallée d'Auge, garnishing each plate with parsley sprigs.