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…


(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!)


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French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (though this week you can find a version of the recipe online here) rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for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.

33 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs cook the books: French Fridays with Dorie: Chicken, apples and cream à la Normande”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!


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