This classic French recipe brings back such fond memories of my childhood and our infamous Sunday Dinners. Every Sunday, my father would try something new and we would all gather around for many courses. We would hang out in between, watching sports, drinking wine, chatting, or swimming in the pool. The neighbors would usually show up at some point to join. There was always enough. It was a very family-friendly atmosphere and a raucous good time. My husband says those dinners are the reason he married me. I miss those days.
The only proof that I have of this recipe is an old photocopy that is all yellowed and stained. I wish I knew what book it was from to give credit, but I do not. It would be wonderful to have and to be able to try some of the other recipes from it. I remember it was very large… at least 500 pages.
This recipe is not hard, but it is a bit time consuming. For some reason my late-father who loved to cook did not like to cook this. He was not a fan of the smell of apples cooking (I know.. crazy!) . But he always made it for me on my birthday because he knew it was my favorite. It still is…. I have such wonderful memories of my birthday and this meal. I remember one time, he spent all day making it and we were all sitting at the table waiting for dinner. He liked to make a big deal out of the fact that he made it and was presenting it with a flourish.
Unfortunately, he stumbled and dropped the entire dish. The dish shattered all over the kitchen floor. Needless to say, he was devastated. We ended up ordering Chinese food and all had a good laugh. I don’t know if I would be so light-hearted about destroying a meal I spent the whole day making, but that was who he was and we followed his lead. But he made it for me and that is the memory I have. Food is love and making those meals reminds you of the love… even after they are gone. And that is the whole point of this blog.
“To be a good cook you have to have a love of the good, a love of hard work, and a love of creating”-Julia Child
If you are looking for an allergy friendly classic French recipe than this is it. I am all about allergy friendly recipes and this one is easily adaptable (except for milk allergies). I substitute corn starch for flour to make it gluten free. We have a lot of food allergies in this house, so I am always thrilled when I find something that covers them all. I find that the nut allergies are easy to deal with, it is the gluten, carrot and soy allergies that are the hardest for me.
French Casserole Chicken – Supreme of Old Hen
- Dutch Oven
- 4-5 lb. Roaster Chicken or Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts
- 4 tbsp. Butter
- 4 tbsp. Sherry I usually use about a 1/2 cup
- 2 Green apples Pared, cored and sliced
- 6 ribs Celery with leaves Chopped
- 1 Onion Minced or grated
- 3 sprigs Parsley
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. Paprika
- 2½ tbsp. flour You can use corn starch as alternative
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- ⅓ cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp. dried tarragon or basil I prefer tarragon
- Grated Parmesan Cheese to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- I prefer a Dutch Oven for this recipe. Sear the chicken on both sides in hot, melted butter. Remove the chicken from the pot and put aside. Add the Sherry to the pot and then the apples, celery, onion, parsley, ½ tsp. salt and paprika. Cover and cook these ingredients until tender. Stir in the flour (or corn starch) and chicken stock. Cook and stir the sauce until it boils. Add the chicken back in. Cover and simmer until its tender (1 hour or more). Remove the chicken and put it in an oven-safe casserole dish. Strain the sauce and bring it to a simmer in a sauce pan. Add sour cream, tarragon and salt & pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Place it under the broiler until the cheese melts. Serve over rice or pasta.