1/4 cup French Calvados apple brandy
1/2 pint cream
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 whole large chicken
Skin the chicken and then rub it inside and out with the lemon. Choose a pot (ovenproof) just large enough for the chicken to fit in snuggly with not more than an inch or two of space all around. The pot should have a tight fitting lid. Place the pot over medium frying heat. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in pot. Then brown chicken on all sides.
Heat the Calvados in a separate saucepan until it is just hot to the touch (if it gets anywhere near boiling the alcohol evaporates). Turn the heat full on under the chicken. Pour in the Calvados and light. Be careful of the flames. Shake the pot to encourage the flames. As soon as the flames die down, clamp on the lid and turn down to simmer. Let the chicken absorb the brandy for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the mushrooms lengthwise and saute.e in 3 tablespoons of butter until just soft.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. After chicken has simmered for 10 minutes, add mushrooms. Turn up heat for a few seconds, then re-cover and turn off heat. Set pot in oven and cook until thicken is tender, about 50 minutes. If there is any doubt about the tightness of the lid, seal the pot with a paste of flour and water.
Meanwhile, prepare the apple rings which traditionally accompanies this dish.
About 10 minutes before serving, prepare the following cream sauce. Separate the eggs. Throw away the whites. With a wire whisk beat 3/4 cup cream into the egg yolks. When the chicken is done, turn the oven down to 150 degrees F. Lift chicken onto platter and surround with apple rings. Lift out mushrooms with a slotted spoon and sprinkle around chicken. Set in the oven to keep warm. Add a little of the pot juices to the egg cream mixture and then turn back into the pot, blend and turn on gentle heat, still beating, until sauce warms up and thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. If it gets too thick, add more cream. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, then pour over the chicken and serve at once.
Serve with rice and apple rings.