This French country classic is great for a winter day.
The traditional recipe calls for quartered chickens but many people today prefer chicken breasts; that's what this recipe calls for.
- Soak the dried wild mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water until needed.
- Set a heavy skillet and an enameled Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. (If you do not have an enameled Dutch oven use another skillet, but you will need a daubiere or other oven-safe pot large enough to hold everything later).
- In one skillet (the enameled one, if you are using one) heat a mix of butter and olive oil until the butter foam subsides.
- Rinse the onions under hot water to get rid of frost. Roll them around on a towel to absorb as much water as possible so they will brown and not spit.
- Cook the onions slowly, shaking the pan gently from time to time. cook until they brown lightly all over - this can take 30 minutes. When they start to brown, add the diced carrot.
- Chop the bacon and cook it in the other skillet to release the fat.
- Push the bacon to the side and sautee the mushrooms in the fat.
- When the mushrooms are done, add the mushroom-bacon misture to the onions if they are finished, or set them in a bowl until the onions are ready.
- Clean the skillet and then sautee the chicken breasts, searing them on all sides.
- When the onions are just about done, add the garlic and saute until golden.
- Add mushrooms, bacon, and chicken to the onions in the Dutch oven.
- Preheat oven to 325
- Deglaze the chicken skillet with some of the dry red wine and add it to the Dutch oven as well. Add the rest of the wine to the Dutch oven.
- Drain the dried wild mushrooms, reserving the liquid in a cup. Chop the mushrooms, and add them and the liquid to the pot.
- Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pot, add some black pepper and put the pot in the oven.
- Cook covered for 90 minutes or so, until the chicken is done and all the flavors have come together.
- Just before serving, season with salt and more pepper as needed. Serve with a fresh green salad and crusty bread, and a Burgundy or a Pinot Noir.
For a smokey winter taste, soak the mushrooms in a cup of Lapsang Souchong tea instead of water.
When it's all cooked, you may want to thicken up the gravy with some flour or by reducing it by boiling.