Although this dish appears heavy, it’s given a light Spring touch with the addition of the lemon and parsley.
Named for the region of Normandy, known for their apples and calvados- typically this dish is prepared with calvados, but due to the limited availability at my wine store, I decided to go ahead and make it with Sauternes – which comes from the region of the Graves in Bordeaux.
Poulet Graves – 4 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 apples, cored and chopped into thick slices
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 3-4lbs whole chicken, cut up (breasts, legs)
6 tablespoons Sauternes
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 ounces crème fraîche
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
2 cups rice, prepared according to package
Melt half the butter in a saucepan over high heat, add apples and sauté, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon, until golden brown and tender. Transfer to a bowl.
Melt the remaining butter in the same saucepan over medium heat and fry the shallots, bay leaves and thyme for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the sauternes, turning the heat up high to burn off the alcohol, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add chicken stock and when stock comes to boil, lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche and add apples, raising the heat again to allow some of the cooking liquid to evaporate and the sauce to thicken. Add lemon juice and parsley.
Divide rice among the 4 plates, then transfer the chicken mixture onto each plate, spooning sauce over the top.