Poulet Vallee d’Auge with Ailala

This might sound a bit rich and wintery, but sometimes you need something a bit warm and comforting. bybo love nothing more than some good roasted meat served with a big green salad or crusty bread. 

Serves 6

6 Chicken breast joints, or one whole chicken, jointed.
1 pint Dry cider
¾ lb Shallots
3 Desert apples
1 oz Butter
¼ pint Calvados or Brandy
½ pint Double cream

Pierce the skin of the joints and lay in a roasting pan. Pour over the cider and cover with cling film. Leave to marinate in a cool place for at least 2 hours (longer the better), turning the chicken every 2 or 3 hours.
Meanwhile, peel the shallots. When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 220C (425F/Gas mk 7).  Remove cling film but leave chicken in marinade, making sure that they are skin side upwards.  Add peeled shallots, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for one hour until chicken is browned and shallots are soft.
While the chicken is cooking, cut the unpeeled, cored apples into rings and fry gently in butter.  When chicken is cooked, remove using a slotted spoon and place in a warmed dish..  Pour Calvados in a saucepan, bring to the boil .  Set fire to it and pour over the chicken.  Leave to keep warm in the oven and make the sauce.
Pour the marinade into a largish saucepan and boil up fiercely for 6-12 minutes until well reduced to about one quarter of the original amount. Stir in cream and boil up again for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour over chicken and garnish with apple slices.