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Old 09-12-2005, 09:43 AM   #1
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Calvados Flamed Chicken

In reading this recipe, it looks like the chicken is cooked whole, in a roasting pan. I don't think I have a pan big enough to cover the chicken with a lid while it's whole, and still be able to flambe. If I ever try this, I'll probably cut the chicken up, so I can use one of my big cast iron skillets.

Calvados Flamed Chicken
Yields:

3 egg yolks
7 T Butter, in all
1 lemon
¼ c French Calvados apple brandy
1 c cream, in all
½# mushrooms
1 whole large chicken

Skin the chicken and then rub it inside and out with the lemon. Choose a pot (ovenproof) just large enough for the chicken to fit in snuggly with not more than an inch or two of space all around. The pot should have a tight fitting lid. Place the pot over medium frying heat. Melt 4 T butter in pot. Then brown chicken on all sides.
Turn the heat full on under the chicken, but pull the pan half-way off the burner so that the side opposite the handle is in the center of the burner. Tilt the skillet so that the juices run to the handle side. Pour in the Calvados, and carefully tilt the pan so the juices run to the side opposite the handle while at the same time sliding the skillet so it’s centered over the burner. The brandy should ignite. If it doesn’t, carefully shake the pan a bit so that a little of the liquid comes up to the rim or splashes over. It will ignite, so be ready for it! Be careful of the flames. Shake the pot to encourage the flames. As soon as the flames die down, clamp on the lid and turn down to simmer. Let the chicken absorb the brandy for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the mushrooms lengthwise and sauté in 3 T of butter until just soft.
Preheat oven to 350°F. After chicken has simmered for 10 minutes, add mushrooms. Turn up heat for a few seconds, then re-cover and turn off heat. Set pot in oven and cook until chicken is tender, about 50 minutes. If there is any doubt about the tightness of the lid, seal the pot with a paste of flour and water.
Meanwhile, prepare the apple rings which traditionally accompanies this dish.
About 10 minutes before serving, prepare the following cream sauce. With a wire whisk, beat ¾ c of the cream into the egg yolks. When the chicken is done, remove the chicken to a platter and surround with apple rings. Lift out mushrooms with a slotted spoon and sprinkle around chicken. Set in the oven to keep warm. Add a little of the pot juices to the egg cream mixture and then turn back into the pot, blend and turn on gentle heat, still beating, until sauce warms up and thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. If it gets too thick, add more cream. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, then pour over the chicken and serve at once.
Serve with rice and apple rings.

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Old 09-12-2005, 11:44 AM   #2
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Oh Allen, this looks yummy. I have a version of brandied chicken that I do but this looks so tasty! Question...I am guessing this assumes a gas range for the flaming? I am thinking with an electric range you would have to do the old matches route, right?
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Old 09-12-2005, 01:52 PM   #3
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Yes. I've never had good luck getting liqueurs and liquor to spontaneously combust using an electric burner.
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Old 09-12-2005, 05:54 PM   #4
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Hi Allen,hope you don't mind my honest opinion.,let us know how it turns out.

In reading that recipe I'm convinced the author has very little cooking
experience and has given flambe instructions that are down right dangerous.
And that sauce....
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Old 09-12-2005, 06:58 PM   #5
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Whats wrong with the recipe? It looks fine to me. Flambeing is never a particularly SAFE thing to do, but lets face it the kitchen is not a safe environment either. We all need to be a bit practical about this. I am going to try a version of this one this week sometime. I am not going to put the apple in though, as I am not fond of it like that. BUT...cream sauce, brandy, chicken mmmmmmmmmmm! Sounds like a winner to me!
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:47 PM   #6
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Foodaholic, Alix is right. Flambeing (sp?) something, at home, is never very safe. How clean in the exhaust hood over the stove? How experienced is the cook? Is there a fire extinguisher handy?

I took a little poetic license with this recipe, in writing down the tilting of the pan and such. This is how I was taught in college.

Assume the handle of the pan is 6 o'clock. The opposite side is 12 o'clock. The reason the pan is pulled halfway off the burner and tilted slightly is so the pan juices drain away from the 12 o'clock side, while at the same time, that particular side of the pan is over the most direct heat, and get really hot. Pour the liquor/liqueur into the pan juices, which is conviently located as far away from the flame as possible. Now, this is kind of hard to explain. You're going to do two motions at once. Slide the pan back so it is fully centered over the burner, while at the same time, tilting the pan back to level, so the liquids come into contact with the extremely hot pan surface. If you do this at the right speed, when the liquid ignites, your arm should be extended, and you shouldn't singe your eyebrows off.

My Chef Instructor had us practice this movement for about 30 minutes, with him watching, by using an empty pan over a cold guiridon. Then, one-by-one, we would actually do a little bit of cooking.

Thank you, though, for bringing this up. I just added a note to my cookbook outline to write a bit about kitchen safety, especially when you flambe.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Whats wrong with the recipe? It looks fine to me. Flambeing is never a particularly SAFE thing to do, but lets face it the kitchen is not a safe environment either. We all need to be a bit practical about this. I am going to try a version of this one this week sometime. I am not going to put the apple in though, as I am not fond of it like that. BUT...cream sauce, brandy, chicken mmmmmmmmmmm! Sounds like a winner to me!
Where do I start

I agree the kitchen is not a particularly safe enviroment.The
author want us to have a whole chicken which takes up 90% of the cooking surface according to his/her instructions [Choose a pot (ovenproof) just large enough for the chicken to fit in snuggly with not more than an inch or two of space all around] and then turn up the heat to high,tilt the pan towards you and pour 1/2 cup of calvados in the handle side.If the chicken doesn't slide towards you taking up all the space before you add the brandy,lets hope it doesn't do it while your pouring the brandy,and then the author says to tip the pan in the other direction splashing a little over the side to help ignite.Is that while the whole chicken is headed to the front of the pan while your tilting the pan,possibly creating one big slash.Sorry I've never seen a dish that was flambeed,and was taller and took up most of the cooking surface,this is totally unprofessional.

As far as the recipe itself is concerned I have a few issues

Removing the skin from a whole chicken then cooking in the oven covered or not will dry out unless it's braised which this is not.I would braise is some king of liquid after I have browned pieces of chicken to ensure the chicken stays moist.Browning a skinless whole chicken in a pan that barely holds it would not be the ideal way to brown a chicken,simply because gravity will dictate where the chicken will be browned from the weight giving dark brown areas where the the weight is the heaviest and a few centimeters away still raw.The best way is to cut up the chicken and brown.And for the liquid I would use a little chicken stock,some cider a few herbs and possibly a little garlic.Then I would reduce that and add some cream.This recipe calls for 3 egg yolks and 3/4 cups of cream to be added to the pan.After the fat has been remove there will only be a couple of tablespoons of brandy and jus,certainly not enough for 3 yolks to thicken.

If the sauce is the culmination of this recipe,which it is,then
you'll have just over one cup....which would include:
4 tbsp of butter
3 egg yolks
3/4 cups of cream



I like fat probably more than most,but this is way off side.


Please don't take this personally Alix,again just my opinion.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the response Allen.I understand how to flambe
or at least I should know after all this time. It's about the big hunk-o meat rolling around under high heat with a home cook and a 1/2 glass of brandy looking for a place to toss it.
I would probably instruct people to add the brandy off the heat and just reduce without flambe.I would even instruct a chef to add the brandy off the heat.....common sense,I quess not.
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:03 PM   #9
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My apologies as well. I guess I need to proof-read stuff that I cut/paste from my many recipe searches on the internet.

I do agree that the chicken needs to be cut up, as well as not skinned.
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Old 09-14-2005, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodaholic
If the sauce is the culmination of this recipe,which it is,then
you'll have just over one cup....which would include:
4 tbsp of butter
3 egg yolks
3/4 cups of cream

I like fat probably more than most,but this is way off side.


Please don't take this personally Alix,again just my opinion.
Don't worry, I don't take things personally on the internet unless they are pretty pointed. I appreciate you taking the time to clarify what I originally thought was just a slam. It helped me to understand better. Now to clarify my OWN statements. I rarely take a recipe like this and duplicate it EXACTLY in my own kitchen. I am far more likely to fiddle with it until I am satisfied. For example, with this recipe I would likely have cut up the chicken, and done it in a much larger pan than suggested. Flambeed without benefit of a gas range, and added to the sauce to make it stretch. (Chicken broth, cream, whatever took my fancy.) Thanks for your post.

Allen, I am still going to try this one. Likely not for a few days though as life has become unexpectedly busy for the week. I will post my results, and any changes I make.
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