Braised Chicken with Shallots and Mushrooms
Shallots break ground in spring. The purple-hued bulbs have a flavor somewhere between onion and garlic, and they braise to a delectable sweetness. White wine and tarragon enliven the pot, while dried mushrooms provide an earthy undertone.
- 4 1/2 lb. (2.25 kg) assorted chicken pieces, preferably
drumsticks and thighs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 6 to 8 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 bottle (750 ml) full-bodied white wine
- 3 Tbs. small pieces dried mushrooms, such as chanterelle or
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) chicken broth
- 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream
- A few drops of fresh lemon juice (optional)
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
- 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chervil or flat-leaf parsley
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then rub with the olive oil. Heat a large, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken, turning occasionally, until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and place over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, broth and 1 Tbs. of the tarragon. Pour the sauce into a deep roasting pan large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Arrange the chicken in the sauce. Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken is opaque throughout, 35 to 40 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Roast until the edges of the chicken skin are crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a deep platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Skim the fat off the sauce. Place the pan over high heat, bring the sauce to a boil and cook, stirring, until reduced by about half, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cream. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the chives, chervil and the remaining 1 Tbs. tarragon. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).