Chicken cooked in a rich, velvety sauce, framed with smoky bacon and earthy flavors. Big sigh. This French countryside stew is seen as one of Julia Child’s signature dishes.
- 1 large whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 bottle full-bodied red wine, such as beautiful Burgundy
- 1 - 2 cups rich full-bodied chicken stock
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6-8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, if needed
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 20 large white pearl onions, peeled
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 pound small cremini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- 1 - 2 chicken livers, coarsely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 - 10 fresh thyme sprigs
Here’s how you make it:
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels
- Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon. Set aside.
- Add carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pot and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly brown.
- Add the garlic, cook additional minute. Add the Cognac and place the bacon, chicken and any juices that collected on the plate back into the pot. Add the red wine, chicken stock, thyme and bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pot with a tight lid and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is pink color close to the bone (from the red wine). Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of butter with the flour to form a thick paste. Stir into the stew until thick. Add the pearl onions.
- In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until caramelize and crispy brown. Add to the pot. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve hot with warm French bread and the remaining bottle or Burgundy! Oooooooo la la!