It's the July 4th weekend. My wife, Kathy, and I have a bag full of red, white and blue pinwheels, some Stars and Stripes-brand snack cakes and a packet of mini-flags. We're nearly set for a holiday blowout in the country. Strangely, none of the stores is stocked with hot dogs or chips. No one around us seems to be doing the same.
Then comes the moment I have been waiting for: I sit down, my own personal pot of gravy poised by my plate. I cover the mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, and salad with the aromatic concoction and I savor every bite. But more importantly, I savor the bounty, creativity, and love that have gone into this simple dish.
After reminiscing with my mom and sister about the Normandy Chicken recipe, I pieced together my own version. The basics included a whole chicken cut up, shallots, mushrooms and Calvados, a french apple brandy. I added apples with the mushrooms and some crème fraîche at the end to make a creamy sauce.