“This is a classic French dish, usually made with a cockerel. If you can find one, let it cook for 20–30 minutes longer than specified below, because the meat is slightly tougher than ordinary chicken. I like to use a whole bird that I joint myself, but drumsticks and thighs can be used if preferred.” — Kevin Dundon, Back to Basics: Your Essential Step-by-Step Cookbook
To make beurre manié, combine ¼ cup all-purpose flour with 2½ tablespoons softened butter until it forms a thick paste. Whisk into sauces or soups near the end of the cooking process.
Using white wine instead of red wine will produce a lighter version of the dish.
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole chicken, about 3½ pounds, divided into 12 pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Ounces streaky (fatty) bacon, cut into small strips
- 4 Cups button mushrooms, quartered or sliced
- 20 baby (pearl) onions, whole, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Teaspoon tomato paste
- 2½ Cups red wine
- 1 Cup brown chicken stock
- 3–4 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Beurre manié, to thicken (see tip below)
- Chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, fry the chicken pieces for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown all over. Season well, then transfer to a casserole dish.
Add the bacon to the empty pan and fry for 2 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to the casserole dish.
Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the empty pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until glazed and golden brown. Stir in the tomato paste, wine, and stock; bring to a boil, then pour over the chicken in the casserole dish. Add the thyme and bay leaves, and then cover and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate, cover with kitchen foil and keep warm.
Remove the thyme and bay leaves from the sauce then bring it back to a boil. Add small pieces of the beurre manié to the boiling liquid (it is very important that the liquid is boiling or the sauce will be lumpy) and whisk rapidly until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Return the chicken pieces to the casserole dish, stir gently to coat in the sauce, and garnish with the parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes.