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Supreme of Old Rooster

"Supreme of Old Rooster"

This is based on the "French Casserole Chicken" recipe in Joy of Cooking, the one that's also called in its introduction "Supreme of Old Hen". The time given is for what I had: a rooster that was, if I remember right, about 18 months old. This is absolutely ancient compared to what you'd find in the supermarket. calygrey said, and I confirmed it on the internet because I couldn't believe I'd remembered correctly, that the breeds raised for meat are killed at 8 weeks old. Seriously, they're 4-5 lbs. by then, and if left alone they wouldn't get much older because their heart gives out. Reduce the cooking time to only 1 hour, or even 45 minutes, if you're using one of those.

one 4 to 5 lb. chicken, cut into pieces
1 + 1/4 sticks butter (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup orange brandy liqueur
(or white wine with a little fresh or dried orange peel, or orange juice)
3 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 medium onion, minced
4 Tablespoons flour total, separated 2 + 2
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup heavy cream or sour cream
1 lb. noodles, preferably the broad flat ones
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Use a heavy pot on top of the stove. Melt one stick of butter (1/4 lb., 8 Tablespoons, 1/2 cup, however you want to measure it) in the bottom of the pot over medium heat. Brown the pieces of chicken a few at a time, removing them to a side plate after. Add the liqueur/wine/oj (whichever you're using) to the butter along with the apple slices and onion and stir, then cook, covered, about 5-10 minutes till the apples and onion are tender. Add in 2 Tablespoons of flour and the salt and paprika, and stir about 5 minutes till the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the chicken stock and add the pieces of chicken. Bring just to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 3 hours or more, till the meat is tender enough to start pulling away from the bones. Near the end of the cooking time, cook the noodles separately and drain. Mix the hot noodles with 1/4 stick of butter (2 Tablespoons) and the parmesan and set aside. Remove the chicken from the pot and raise the heat to boiling to reduce the sauce, stirring, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Mix the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour into a little bit of the cream (whichever sort) till smooth and stir that into the pot to help thicken the sauce. Lower the heat and stir in the rest of the cream. Put the chicken back in the sauce and serve it over the parmesan noodles.