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Chicken Normandy with Bacon and Creamy Dreamy Sauce

This is a classic french dish that features sauteed chicken breasts, apples, and onions in a lovely cream sauce. We have the famous chef Emeril to thank for this recipe, and I have been treating my family, guests, and catering customers with this dish for almost 20 years! Since my hubby LOVES bacon almost more than life itself, I double the bacon so he can nibble on it while I prepare dinner. I also double the sauce recipe since it's divine and at my house, we are all about the sauce.

Note: If you don’t have Calvados (Calvados is a brandy made from apples or sometimes pears), you can substitute brandy or cognac.


  • 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 3/4-inch dice

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

  • Emeril’s Essence (recipe below or found in some grocery stores) or creole seasoning

  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped yellow onion

  • 1⁄2 cup calvados

  • 1 cup apple cider

  • 1 1⁄2 cups thinly sliced red apples

  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • Fresh chopped chives for garnish (optional)


  • In a large, heavy saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

  • Season the chicken on both sides with Essence. Dredge in the flour to coat lightly, shaking to remove any excess.

  • Add the chicken to the fat in the pan and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides and nearly cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

  • Remove and cover to keep warm.

  • Add the onions and cook to the now-empty pan, stirring, for 3 minutes.

  • Add the Calvados and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan.

  • Simmer until reduced by half then add the cider, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).

  • Add the apples and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the cream and simmer until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, several pieces at a time, and cook, stirring, until each is incorporated.

  • Stir in the thyme and return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook until the chicken is heated through and cooked all the way, turning, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and divide the chicken and sauce among 4 plates. Garnish each serving with the bacon and fresh chives and serve.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.


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