Friday, April 30, 2010

Wine-Braised Chicken with Shallots and Panchetta

Now we're both sick, but the Wine-Braised Chicken is not! With Eric on the mend while Charisse is just getting started, this cold is interfering with our ability to get posts out in time. Somethings going around the Bay Area, even Patrick Marleau seems to be out with this bug (Sharks still won game 1). Next week should be better though. Don't worry, Blogger has an extensive antivirus system, so you can't catch this from the pictures or the recipe. We served this with mashed potatoes and carrots as Patrick and Monica Farnsworth's anniversary gift dinner, and what a great meal it makes. Actually, a well cooked meal, some wine and martinis and a great night with family always makes the best gift one can give. That and diamonds.

The actual dish is really a very basic, easy to make, one pan meal. We haven't talked about this much, but when your doing multiple courses, part of the planing involves making sure you have enough pans to cover all the courses. For example, if we wanted to do an upside down cake and say a skillet roasted chicken, you'd run into trouble, as both dishes need the same pan. So any time you can do a course in a single pan, it helps free up your other pans for other dishes or courses. When your as crazy as we are and have around 6 different frying pans its usually not an issue, but for most people there's usually only one or two of the same pans in the house, so planing out your courses and doing as much with each pan becomes really important, and a key factor in planing out your meal.

Speaking of cast iron skillets Charisse's birthday was yesterday, and Eric got her a new cast iron skillet from and this one is 15 inches. That is HUGE. its seriously the biggest pan we own. Can't wait to fill it with BACON!

Pictures and Recipe after the break

Wine-Braised Chicken with Shallots and Panchetta
What you will need

1/4 cup olive oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.)
4 chicken drumsticks (about 1-1/2 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 oz. pancetta, diced (1 heaping cup) (may also use bacon)
8 medium shallots, lobes separated, large lobes halved through the core
4 medium carrots, cut into inch long slices
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and diced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups dry white wine, using a fruitier wine helps add a touch of flavor
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

 Preheat the oven to 300*

Toss some of the olive oil into your dutch oven and bring the temp up to medium - high. Salt and pepper the chicken and set skin side down in the how heated oil in one single layer at the bottom of the pan. Flip the chicken one time, making sure it has a nice golden brown sear on both sides. 10 - 13 minutes. Remove the chicken and set on a plate. Add the panchetta to the pan and brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the panchetta and discard the fat. As with bacon, the panchetta should be laid out on a paper towel and have another laid overtop to absorb excess fat.

Heat the remaining oil back in the dutch oven again to medium high to lightly brown the carrots fennel and shallots, which takes about 7 minutes or so. Add the garlic and stir for another mintute or two, waiting for the garlic smell to absorb.

Create a herb bundle with thyme and parsley sprigs with bay leaf by either wrapping the whole thing in cheese cloth or tying them together with kitchen string.

Bring the dutch oven to a simmer and toss the wine and herb bundle in. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any bits that have formed there (so you don't loose any flavor). Put the panchetta and chicken back into the pot, add broth. When everything simmers again, put the lid on pot, and put it in the oven.

Cooking lesson #1,984: Cast iron is great because it evenly distributes heat across the entire surface of the pan, you don't get any hot spots. You also get hot hot handles, so don't be like Eric, use oven mitts whenever handling cast iron.

The chicken should braise for about 35 - 45 minutes. It's done when the meat is falling off the bone.

Adapted from Fine

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