Free-range Chicken with cider (a recipe from the Ardèche)

Serves 4

1 free-range chicken (around 1.6 kg)
15cl cider vinegar
½ bottle sweet cider
5cl eau-de-vie Calvados
100g butter
1 bunch of spring onions (washed and peeled)
1 carrot
1 shallot
1 bouquet garni
1 sprig of fresh tarragon
salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare the chicken and divide into 8 portions. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the fridge and leave to marinate for one hour. Next, mix the cider with some of the cider vinegar and pour over the chicken portions. In a large pan prepare the stock using the marinade, chicken carcass, giblets, carrot, shallot (finely chopped) and the bouquet garni. Leave to cook for 40 minutes, strain and then keep warm.

Pat the chicken dry and coat in flour. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and, starting with the skin, brown off the chicken on both sides. Flambé the chicken pieces in the Calvados and remaining cider vinegar then add to the stock. Cover and cook for 35 minutes.

After 25 minutes cooking time, remove the wings and keep them warm. Add the spring onions to the chicken and stock.

Present the 8 chicken portions on a large plate and garnish with the spring onions. Keep hot whilst finishing the sauce.

Reduce the stock in a frying pan, strain and stir in a little butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped tarragon. Serve hot.

Chef's recommendation: accompany free-range chicken with a bottle of KERISAC'S DRY or TRADITIONAL cider.

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