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.
1 ozDried Wild Mushrooms (soaked in boiling water)
1 pkfrozen Pearl Onions (rinsed and dried on a towel)
16 TButter (Unsalted) (for sauteing)
1 lbmushrooms (sliced or quartered)
1 lbBacon (Applewood-smoked, not hickory)
6 clvGarlic (crushed)
6Chicken breasts (cleaned and trimmed )
3 cDry Red Wine
2 tDried Thyme
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.