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Normandy Chicken Legs in Cider Sauce

Normandy style chicken legs in a silky rich sauce loaded with apples, bacon, mustard and cider, it’s finished with crème fraiche and tarragon.

This delicious and indulgent chicken dish is more commonly made with pork, but chicken legs make a great addition and it will go from your fridge to your table in around an hour.

Chicken Normandy in a cider and mustard sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes.

Chicken Legs in a Creamy Cider and Mustard Sauce

This Normandy-inspired chicken leg recipe is born from a few requests I’ve had on social media about my Normandy pork chop recipe.

I’m always more than happy to accommodate requests like this, it may take me a while but if a few people ask I usually jump in. So if you want to see something never be afraid to shout up.

This recipe features classic flavours from the north of France. Cider, brandy, tarragon, apples, bacon and creme fraiche for a thick and rich luxurious sauce.

It’s a simple dish to cook too! All you need to do is get a little bit of colour on the chicken legs then set them aside.

Fry off some veggies and bacon, then throw in some apples and brandy. Then pour in your cider and chicken stock, return the chicken and bake it in the oven.

Finally, the sauce gets reduced and finished with fresh tarragon and creme fraiche.

Overhead chicken Normandy in a cider and mustard sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use boneless Chicken Breasts?

Yes, but the timing will need to be altered a little, you will likely need to cook it for 3-5 minutes less in the oven.

Use a quick-read meat thermometer and make sure that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat has reached 67-68°C or 152°F. It will continue to cook and reach a safe temperature whilst you finish the sauce.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of whole legs?

Yes, the timing will remain largely the same if you swap in some thighs.

What cider do you use?

So long as it is a dry cider you are good to rock and roll. I use a lot of Aspall Premier Cru dry cider in my recipes that call for dry cider at the moment.

If you want to stick with the French vibe then look for Northern French Cidre.

Can I omit the brandy?

If you wish, it will change the flaovur a little, but it is not a deal breaker.

Can I substitute cream for creme fraiche?

Yes, but make sure that you use double (heavy) cream so that the sauce does not split.

I like the tartness that creme fraiche adds to this recipe, you can mimic this with a squeeze of lemon juice.

A NOTE FOR US-BASED READERS!

Cider in this recipe refers to booze, what you guys refer to as hard cider. Please do not use apple juice to make this recipe, it turns out really funky, and not in a good way!

Overhead close-up chicken Normandy in a cider and mustard sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes.

Serving Suggestions

This Normandy chicken leg recipe is seriously rich, it rocks butter, bacon and crème fraiche alongside plenty of booze.

Now you could balance that richness with lighter sides, or you could lean into it and embrace the indulgence.

Naturally, in these pictures, I have done the latter and served it with a buttery, creamy mashed potato. A slightly less indulgent option would be celeriac mash, which works perfectly too!

If you want to go a little lighter and stick with a potato side, roasted Parmentier potatoes or some buttered herby new potatoes would work wonderfully.

When it comes to green veg, a couple of my favourites are roasted tenderstem broccoli or my green bean amandine are superb with this rich dish.

If it’s in season some asparagus cooked in the air fryer also works really well.

Overhead chicken Normandy in a cider and mustard sauce in a pan.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob/stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 28cm or 11″ ovenproof frying pan, not nonstick if possible.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Apple corer.
  • Vegetable peeler.
  • Small bowl to soak the apples.
  • A combination of weighing scales, a measuring jug or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Quick read meat thermometer (optional).
Normandy style chicken legs with a creamy cider sauce and mashed potato garnished with parsley.
Yield: 2 Servings

Creamy Normandy Chicken Legs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This chicken Normandy recipe is a rich and indulgent dish that features a sauce loaded with Norther French flavours, cider, bacon dijon mustard and apples all take centre stage. It's rounded out with a hearty dollop of crème fraiche and fresh tarragon.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Legs
  • 1 Tsp Cooking Oil
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 1 (50-60g) Celery Stick
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 1 Granny Smiths Apple
  • 35g (2 Tbsp) Butter
  • 100g (4oz) Bacon Lardons
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp +1 Tsp) Brandy
  • 330ml (1⅓ Cup) Dry Cider
  • 175ml (⅓ Cup) Chicken Stock
  • 10g (¼-⅓ Cup) Frash Tarragon
  • 100g (⅓ Cup) Creme Fraiche

Instructions

  1. Cut the celery into a dice as small as you can.
  2. Cut the onion in half, peel it and then slice it into half-moon shapes around 3-4mm (⅛") thick.
  3. Core and peel the apple, then cut it into a 5-6mm (¼) dice. Place the diced apple into acidulated water to prevent it from browning.
  4. Heat a 28cm or 11" (not nonstick) frying pan over a medium-high heat and when it is hot add the cooking oil.
  5. Seaon the chicken with the salt and cook them in the oil on all sides until lightly golden. If you are using a pan that is nonstick, do not be tempted to mess with the chicken too early or you will rip the skin. The chicken will release itself when it is ready to turn.
  6. When browned remove the chicken and set it aside, returning the pan to a medium heat.
  7. Add the butter to the pan and when it begins to foam throw in the onion, celery and bacon lardons and cook them for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8. Crank the heat up as far as it will go add the apples and pour in the brandy, being careful not to set it alight, and reduce it by half.
  9. Pour in the cider, and chicken stock then stir in the dijon mustard.
  10. Pop the chicken legs and any resting juices into the pan (skin side up), then transfer to the oven for 17-20 minutes and cook at 180°C or 350°F. Your chicken should reach an internal temperature of around 67-68°C or 152°F, don't worry your chicken will reach the safe "zone" whilst resting.
  11. Remove the chicken from the oven, then remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a plate. Return the pan to a high heat and reduce the sauce by around a half.
  12. Roughly chop the tarragon.
  13. Stir the tarragon and creme fraiche through the remaining sauce and return the resting juices and chicken to the pan, cooking on low for a final minute or two.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1141Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 417mgSodium: 2351mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 6gSugar: 29gProtein: 84g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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