A classic French chicken stew, using red wine and brandy to create a decadent base. It's deeply savoury, which is enhanced with the addition of bacon and will fill your house with the most beautiful aroma. Serve on a bed of buttery mash and you'll have one happy family on your hands!
1 whole chicken, portioned
500ml full bodied red wine
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
150g bacon or pancetta
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrot, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g baby mushrooms, halved
1 cup pickled onions, drained and cut in half
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp flour
250ml chicken stock
parsley for garnish
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper in a bowl and pour in wine and add bay leaves and thyme. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.
Remove the chicken from the wine and pat the pieces so that they're really dry which will help the fat render. Season the chicken skin with salt and pepper.
Add a couple of tsp of olive oil into a cast iron pot and once hot, fry the chicken pieces, skin side down until the skin has rendered and is golden in colour. Turn over and cook other side for 1 minute. Remove from pan.
Heat the pan on medium-high heat and once hot add in bacon and cook until golden.
Turn pan to low and add in onions, carrots and garlic and fry for 10 mins.
Add in mushrooms, tomato paste and brandy and cook for another couple of mins.
Mix butter and flour into a paste and stir through the sauce.
Add the reserved wine and herbs into the pot along with the stock. Season with pepper (do not taste at this point because the raw chicken was marinating in the wine).
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook down for 30 minutes.
Add chicken back in except for breast pieces, cover and cook for 1 hour and turn once during. Add the breast pieces with 20 mins to go.
Remove chicken pieces and and reduce sauce for 15-20 mins or until it has thickened. Then return chicken back into pan.
Garnish with some roughly chopped parsley and serve on a bed of buttery mashed potatoes.
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