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Braised Chicken and Vegetables

Browning the chicken before braising it ensures moist, flavorful meat. Serve it with vegetables the first night and use the leftovers in a light soup, a baguette sandwich or a hearty pasta sauce (see related recipes at left).

To store the remaining chicken, let it cool, then remove the meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones. Shred the meat and put in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Store the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 chickens, each about 3 1/2 lb., neck and giblets removed, cut into 16 serving pieces
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 lb. button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions:

Brown the chicken
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and shake off the excess. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook, turning once or twice, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Make the sauce
Pour the wine into the pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the broth, tomatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer to reduce the liquid, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Add the mushrooms and carrots, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is opaque throughout, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove 8 pieces of chicken and let cool before storing (see note). Divide the remaining chicken and vegetables among shallow bowls, top with the sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4; makes about 8 cups shredded cooked chicken total.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, One Pot, by Carrolyn Carreño (Oxmoor House, 2008).