Corn-fed Chicken with Black Pudding, Apple and Calvados

Tender chicken legs are filled with a wonderfully tasty stuffing and served on a bed of mashed potatoes and apple in Jean-Christophe Novelli's sensational recipe
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Corn-fed Chicken with Black Pudding, Apple and Calvados
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 11 Granny Smith apples
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • 4 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 corn-fed chicken legs

For the stuffing

  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved and centres removed
  • 2 small boudin noir, (black pudding), diced

For the sauce

  • 4 tbsp calvados
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives


1. Preheat the oven to 110C/gas ¼.

2. Slice 1 apple wafer thin, vertically on a mandolin and dust with icing sugar.

3. Place the apple slices on baking parchment on a baking tray, then cover with a second sheet of baking parchment. Put it in the oven for 2 hours, until completely dried and crisp.

4. To make the apple mash; bring a pan of salted water to the boil add the diced potatoes and cook until soft then drain and return to a low heat to dry out.

5. Peel, core and dice 4 of the apples.

6. Heat half the butter in a pan, add the diced apple and 1 tablespoon water and cook until the apple is a soft purée

7. Mash the potatoes until smooth and add the apple purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.

8. To make the stuffing; heat a frying pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, sage, garlic, boudin noir and salt and pepper to taste. Fry for a few minutes until cooked.

9. Tip the contents of the frying pan into a colander and discard the herbs.

10. Peel 2 of the apples and cut them into small dice.

11. Add the diced apples to the frying pan, cook quickly for a few minutes, and then add to the cooked boudin noir.

12. Spread the mixture on a tray and leave to cool.

13. To prepare the chicken legs; remove the thigh bone from the chicken; make an incision along the length of the top of the thigh, cutting right through to the bone.

14. Pull the flesh back, away from the bone, exposing it. Slide a knife underneath the bone to free it further from the flesh.

15. Cut through the joint between the thigh and the drumstick, then snap off the thighbone and discard it.

16. Open out the flesh of the thigh, so that it lies flat.

17. Place each chicken leg on a sheet of cling film and season with salt and pepper.

18. Fill the cavity of each leg with the cooled boudin noir & apple mixture.

19. Fold the sides of chicken over to enclose the stuffing, then fold the cling film over tightly, tie off one end of the cling film then twist the open end of cling film until it forms the chicken into a sausage shape, tie this end off tightly.

20. Place the chicken in a pan of simmering water, or steam for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked.

21. When the chicken is cooked, heat a frying pan, add the remaining olive oil and butter to the pan,

22. Remove the cling film from the chicken. When the oil and butter are frothing add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

23. To make the sauce; peel and core the remaining 4 apples and cut each into eight segments.

24. Add the apple segments to the pan and cook for a few minutes.

25. Add the calvados, and cook over a medium heat until the mixture is reduced.

26. Reduce the heat and add the cream. Heat through but do not boil.

27. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the chives.

28. To serve; pour the sauce onto 4 plates. Slice the chicken and place on a bed of apple mash then arrange the apple segments around the plates. Garnish with the dried crisp apple slices.

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