Sometimes a nice simple, yet elegant chicken dish just sounds like the perfect thing, this was the case last week Sunday. While searching through my many recipe ideas I stumbled over this lovely looking dish. Chicken, wine and a few vegetables, put them all together in one pot and braise. Half an hour later you have a pot full of tender chicken floating in a flavorful sauce surrounded by tender vegetables. Add a salad and some nice crusty bread to soak up all of that delicious sauce and you have a winner. So simple yet so good!
The only thing I change in this recipe was adding a package of mushrooms. I love mushrooms in just about everything and I thought that adding mushrooms to this dish would be perfect, and I think I was right. It was just the right touch. Other than that I pretty much stuck to the recipe. There was one sad moment at the end of dinner when I realized that the 4 thick and smokey slices of bacon and the fresh thyme I bought especially for this meal were still sitting on the counter in their bowls, I completely forgot to add them in at the end! I was so disappointed, I'm sure they would have just elevated this dish all the way to the very top. But alas, it was not to be this time. I guess I'll just have to try it again sometime.
Browning the chicken
Such a pretty sight
Chicken Braised with Bacon, Onions and Riesling
- 12 red or white boiling onions
- 1 chicken, about 4 lb, or 3 chicken quarters
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 4 thick-cut bacon slices
- 12 small carrots or 3 or 4 large carrots cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 a large onion, minced
- 10 ounce package of mushrooms, quartered
- 2 Tablespoons brandy
- 2 cups Riesling
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the onions and cook until the skins loosen, about 2 minutes. Drain the onions and rinse under cold running water. Slip off and discard the skins.
Cut the chicken into 9 pieces, then season with the 1 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, leaving the fat in the pot.
Increase the heat under the pot to medium-high. Working in batches, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter.
Add the onions and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or two. Carefully add the cognac and reduce the heat to low. Using a long-handled match, light the cognac and let the flame burn for 30 seconds, then cover to extinguish the flame. Uncover, add the Riesling and bring to a boil over high heat. Return the drumsticks, thighs and wings, and then the breasts to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
In a heatproof bowl, mash together the butter and flour to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid into the flour-butter mixture, then stir this mixture into the pot. Simmer until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife near the bone, 5 to 10 minutes more. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle the bacon and thyme over the chicken.
Transfer the chicken to a warmed deep platter and serve immediately.