Serves 8 or serves 4 with leftovers.
Adapted from several cookbooks, see East Side, East Side, All Around the Town
2 Bell & Evans Free Range Chickens, quartered, about 8 or 9 lbs. total weight
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bottles of Côtes du Rhône
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large shallot coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
¾ lb. pearl onions, about 16 to 20 depending on size
½ lb. thick sliced bacon
1 lb. Cremini mushrooms
¼ lb. unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
½ cup cognac
2 & ½ cups unsalted beef stock
6 tbsps. Beef demi-glace
Steps 1 to 7 take about 1 hour and can be performed a day in advance and refrigerated overnight.
1. Prepare a bouquet garni, by wrapping the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, shallot & garlic in a piece of cheese cloth and tying it off.
2. Separate the drumsticks from the thighs and cut each breast in half leaving the wings attached to the upper half of the breast. You will end up with 16 pieces of chicken. Liberally salt and pepper each piece.
3. Place the chicken pieces and the bouquet garni in a large non-reactive bowl and cover with the contents of 1 bottle of the wine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate, marinating the chicken for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
4. Bring a small pot of water to boil, add the pearl onions and blanch for 1 minute. Remove the onions and when cooled, remove and discard their skins.
5. Re-boil the water; add the bacon slices and par-boil for about 3 minutes to remove some of the saltiness. Drain and pat the bacon dry. Heat a non-stick sauté pan on medium and fry the bacon until cooked but still soft about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the bacon, slice into ½ inch wide pieces and set aside.
6. Remove most of the bacon fat from the sauté pan leaving about two tablespoons. Add 2 tbsps. of butter and then the skinned onions, brown on high heat for about 3 minutes, remove and set aside.
7. Repeat step 6 with the cremini mushrooms, adding 2 tbsps. of butter and browning the mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
8. When the chicken pieces are finished marinating, drain and pat them dry; reserve the marinade and the bouquet garni.
9. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour. Melt 4 tbsps. of butter in a stainless steel sauté pan on medium heat and brown the chicken pieces well, for about 10 minutes turning them several times. You will probably have to do this in two batches.
10. Remove the chicken to a large casserole, or Dutch Oven.
11. Add the cognac to the sauté pan; bring to a boil and deglaze the pan about 1 minute. Pour the cognac and the fond over the chicken; add the reserved marinade, 2nd bottle of wine, beef stock and bouquet garni.
12. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes adding the mushrooms, onions, bacon after 15 minutes.
13. Remove the chicken, bacon, onions and mushrooms, set aside and keep warm. Remove and discard the bouquet garni.
14. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve, and pour off the fat. Clean the casserole, return the sauce to it and bring to a boil, add the demi-glace to thicken the sauce and when it reaches the consistency thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add back all of the set aside ingredients, stir well and heat covered for about 15 to 30 minutes on low, prior to serving.
Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Côtes du Rhône
Please see East Side, East Side, All round the Town