Chicken Normandy Escalope De Poulet A La Normande: Recipe, Tips & Pairings

Chicken Normandy, also known as Escalope de Poulet à la Normande, traces its roots to the Normandy region in northern France. Renowned for its rich culinary heritage, Normandy has contributed several iconic dishes to French cuisine. Chicken Normandy’s unique blend of flavors, involving chicken and apples simmered in a creamy cider sauce, reflects Normandy’s agricultural abundance. The dish emerged as a staple in local kitchens, leveraging the region’s readily available ingredients.

Regional Influence on Ingredients

Normandy’s geography and climate contribute significantly to the ingredients used in Chicken Normandy. The region is famed for its apple orchards, producing numerous cider varieties that add a distinct sweet-tart flavor to the dish. Cream, another key ingredient, comes from Normandy’s lush pastures, supporting a thriving dairy industry. The combination of milk, cream, and cider highlights the region’s agricultural strengths, presenting a cozy and flavorful profile unique to Normandy cuisine.

Key Ingredients in Chicken Normady

Apples and Apple Brandy

Apples serve as a cornerstone in Chicken Normandy. Tart varieties, such as Granny Smith or Braeburn, work best. Their acidity balances the richness of the creamy cider sauce. Normandy’s abundant apple orchards supply the necessary apples. The apple brandy, or Calvados, enhances the dish with a distinct, warm finish. This potent spirit infuses the sauce with depth, complementing both the sweetness and tartness of the apples.

Cream and Chicken

Cream adds a luscious texture to Chicken Normandy. Full-fat cream creates a velvety consistency that marries well with the other ingredients. Normandy’s dairy industry provides high-quality cream essential for achieving the dish’s signature smoothness. Chicken, preferably boneless breast or thigh, forms the protein base. Lightly pan-fry it for a golden crust, then let it simmer in the sauce to absorb the complex flavors. The combination of tender chicken and rich cream defines the comforting essence of Chicken Normandy.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Chicken

Start by flattening your chicken breasts. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy skillet to pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. This ensures they cook evenly.

Next, season the flattened chicken breasts. Sprinkle both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, a light dusting of flour can help achieve a golden crust when cooking.

Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and the oil is shimmering, add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate, covered to keep warm.

Making the Sauce

In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add one finely chopped shallot and one minced garlic clove. Sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of sliced apples to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Pour in 1/2 cup of apple cider and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Bring this mixture to a simmer while scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Reduce the sauce by half. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of Calvados (apple brandy from Normandy). Stir well to combine and let the sauce simmer gently until it thickens, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and let them heat through for 2-3 minutes. Optionally, garnish with fresh thyme leaves before serving.

Mastering these steps will help you create an authentic Chicken Normandy, blending tender chicken with a luscious, apple-accented creamy sauce.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Enhancing Chicken Normandy with the right side dishes creates a balanced meal that emphasizes the flavors of the dish. Classic accompaniments include:

  1. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes absorb the rich cider sauce perfectly.
  2. Sautéed Green Beans: Lightly sautéed green beans add a crisp, fresh contrast to the rich chicken.
  3. Baguette Slices: Freshly baked baguette slices are perfect for soaking up any leftover sauce.
  4. Caramelized Carrots: Sweet carrots complement the apple and cider flavors inherent in Chicken Normandy.
  5. Steamed Asparagus: Steamed asparagus offers a mild, earthy side that doesn’t overpower the main dish.
  1. Chardonnay: A full-bodied Chardonnay complements the creamy sauce and adds a buttery note.
  2. Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine offers a bright contrast to the rich flavors of the chicken.
  3. Cider: Traditional Norman cider pairs seamlessly, echoing the apple notes in the dish.
  4. Pinot Gris: This versatile wine with hints of fruit pairs well with the apple and cream elements.
  5. Chenin Blanc: A high-acidity Chenin Blanc cuts through the creaminess, balancing the overall flavors.


Chicken Normandy Escalope De Poulet A La Normande offers a delightful culinary journey through the flavors of northern France. By incorporating regional ingredients like apples and Calvados apple brandy, you can create a dish that’s both rich and aromatic. The creamy cider sauce perfectly complements the tender boneless chicken, making it a standout meal for any occasion.

Pairing the dish with suggested side dishes and wines elevates the dining experience, ensuring that every bite is harmonious and satisfying. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, following the provided steps and recommendations will help you achieve an authentic taste of Normandy in your own kitchen. Enjoy the process and savor the exquisite flavors that this classic French dish brings to your table.

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