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Les Petits Chefs cook the books: French Fridays with Dorie: Chicken, apples and cream à la Normande

I made this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Chicken, apples and cream à la Normande, p 218) last weekend and it was so delicious that I KNEW I had to try it out with my Petits Chefs (on the heels of their successful foray into The Smitten Kitchen).

It’s a simple dish – pan fried chicken breasts with mushrooms, apples and onions in a Calvados-cream sauce. SO easy and so tasty.

When I made it at home, I left the chicken breasts whole and – full disclosure – after I took the picture and cut into them, they were not cooked through. I should have sliced them in halves so they didn’t take so long to cook – I was aware that I didn’t want the mushrooms, apples and onions to go too mushy (and, in fact, I added some uncooked apple slices to my version of it for a little crunch.  With the boys, I had them chop the chicken into strips (“Are we making chicken fingers, Mademoiselle?” LOL!) so it would be sure to be cooked.

It was a pretty easy recipe to execute at home, so I figured the boys would easily be able to do this in an hour. We also made another Dorie recipe (Go-with-everything celery root purée) which is part of the lineup later in the month to serve with the chicken.

We got straight to work…

Chopping, chopping, chopping…

The boys who chopped the celery root were seriously focussed on the celery root. The boys were fascinated with this – many of them had never seen one before and were amazed at the pristine white underneath the gnarly exterior.  We were all able to identify the “celery” smell too!

Look at these evenly diced veggies! I’m so proud of these guys and their knife skills.

And then we got cooking…

Theirs?

(sans cream here – we waited until the last minute to add this – and obviously sans Calvados. It definitely needed the boost from the alcohol, in my opinion but I know the boys enjoyed it anyway!)

Mine?

I served ours with the celery root purée as well – a perfect match and the best way to soak up the fabulous juices from the sauce.

I LOVED this dish and will definitely be making it again – so fast to make using ingredients I often have on hand. A wonderfully warming dish on a chilly winter night.

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (though this week you can find a version of the recipe online here) rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!

 

CONTEST: Canadians – win a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer! Contest closes December 14th (TODAY!) at 4pm EST.

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33 Responses to Les Petits Chefs cook the books: French Fridays with Dorie: Chicken, apples and cream à la Normande

  1. Liz December 14, 2012 at 06:21 #

    Lucky petits chefs!!!! Beautifully done, Mardi! This was a hit for us, too!

  2. Cher December 14, 2012 at 06:42 #

    Oh, that is too awesome. Le Petit Chefs totally rock! (As does their instructor)

  3. Mr. Neil December 14, 2012 at 08:40 #

    Mr. Neil had a slight debate with Mademoiselle over the Calvados; seeing as the alcohol burns off in cooking, I felt it would be fine, even at school. It’s disheartening watching the puritanical streak in Ontario… ;-)

    Having said that, meal was great. (Well, once my raw chicken was cooked.)

    LOVE the celery root puree.

    I wasn’t in the mood for a white wine, so paired a Cabernet France from Prince Edward Country, Ontario. A bit lighter, not too fruity, and acidic. Worked fairly well.

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) December 14, 2012 at 10:42 #

      It’s not about the alcohol in the recipe, it’s about bringing alcohol on school property! In any case, the mums have been told that it’s MUCH better with Calvados!

  4. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen December 14, 2012 at 12:01 #

    Those might be Petit chefs but they made an awesome dish! The celery root puree is just perfect!

  5. Sara December 14, 2012 at 13:09 #

    This is such an awesome post! I wish I’d been introduced to these techniques (and ingredients!) when I was younger. What a great opportunity for these guys – and a great job done by them too! Both dishes look fantastic.

  6. Mushrooms Canada December 14, 2012 at 14:21 #

    What talented young men they are! You’re doing these boys a serious favour. A beautiful dish as always Mardi, thanks for sharing!

    -Shannon

  7. Rose December 14, 2012 at 17:47 #

    Fun post. I’m so happy to hear that you were able to share this with the boys. I’m sure that their future girlfriends will thank you:-)

  8. Diane Balch December 14, 2012 at 18:46 #

    Some awesome chefs cooking in your great photos… Love how you added color to your dish, beautiful.

  9. Betsy December 14, 2012 at 21:00 #

    Les Petits Chefs looks like they had a success! I love the freshly sliced apples on top of your dish. I like that idea. And I’ll bet the apple flavors went great with the celery root puree. I’ll definitely be making this again, so I’ll try your twists.

  10. Elaine December 14, 2012 at 21:41 #

    Both versions look wonderful. It is a perfect dish for a chilly winter night. So glad that you made it with Les Petits Chefs and what a great idea to cut the chicken into chicken fingers to make it more appealing to them. And also a great idea to add some fresh cut apples to give the dish a little crunch. I am looking forward to making the celery root puree and I bet it was delicious with this dish.

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) December 20, 2012 at 08:42 #

      No, I didn’t cut the chicken into “fingers” to make it more appealing – I did it because we only have one hour to cook in and based on my own dish, that was not enough time to make sure it was cooked!

  11. Tammy December 14, 2012 at 22:08 #

    Ooh … I love celery root puree! And I think it would marry very well with this chicken.

  12. Teresa December 15, 2012 at 01:42 #

    They did a fantastic job! I wish I’d thought to make the celery root purée to go with this, too. It looks like it went wonderfully with the chicken.

  13. Lea Ann December 15, 2012 at 08:49 #

    I’m in love with braised chicken dishes and this one is getting pinned to try later…maybe tonight. And congrats to the kids for a beautiful dish. I’ve never had celery root. Hope Whole Foods has some. Great step x step instructions.

  14. Maria December 15, 2012 at 15:46 #

    Wow Mardi!!!! your Petit Chefs’ knife skills are so much better than mine! and they made a beautiful dish! Off course the have an amazing teacher so I am not really surprised! Happy holidays!!!

  15. Geoff December 15, 2012 at 21:02 #

    The pics enabled me to taste the dish. Lovely stuff.

  16. Mary Hirsch December 15, 2012 at 22:31 #

    What a great idea to place the chicken breast and sauce on top of the celery root puree – love that. I thought I cooked my chicken breasts a tad, tad bit too long. They were just a little dry. I think I’ll halve or cut in chunks next time. Glad the boys liked the dish. What a good thing to do with young men. Yes, they cut up their fruits and vegetables more expertly than I do.

  17. Maggie December 17, 2012 at 09:08 #

    Such pretty photos! Those boys are lucky to have such a great teacher! And thanks for the email about Flickr, I’m still navigating my way through it and figuring out if I like it or not. I love the snipped chives sprinkled on top of your chicken – so pretty and tasty!

  18. Colette @ JFF! December 18, 2012 at 12:18 #

    Who knew chicken could be so SEXY?!

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