Ingredients (serves 4)
100g (3½oz) butter
2 x 1.4kg (3lb) roasting chickens, ready jointed, or 8 chicken thigh joints
6 large shallots cut in half
4 sticks of celery, washed and thickly sliced
440ml can dry cider
300ml (½ pint) chicken stock
3 red apples, cored and sliced into wedges
4 level tbsp plain flour
150ml (¼ pint) crème fraîche
Flat-leafed parsley to garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
- Heat 25g (1oz) butter in a large frying pan. Add enough chicken joints, skin side down to just cover the base of the pan. Cook over a high heat until brown; turn and brown the second side. Put to one side. Repeat with the rest of the chicken if necessary.
- Add 25g (1oz) butter in to a flameproof casserole dish, add the shallots and celery and cook over a low heat for 5min. Put the chicken joints over the vegetables, pour over the cider and stock, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 20 min or until the juices run clear when a thick piece of chicken is pierced with a sharp knife.
- Heat the remaining butter in the large frying pan until foaming and beginning to turn slightly brown. Add the apples and fry until lightly coloured. Keep warm on a low heat.
- Lift the chicken joints and vegetables out of the casserole with a draining spoon, put in the frying pan with the apples, cover and keep warm.
- Mix the flour with the crème fraîche to form a smooth paste, whisk into the bubbling liquid in the casserole, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 - 4 min.
- To serve spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with flat-leafed parsley.
Serve in bowls with some fresh crusty bread.