Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chicken and Potato Braise for a Lazy Day

I can't believe it's January and  it has yet to have snow. Sure it's flurried a few times but nothing sticks for more than a few hours. I was hoping to have a picturesque kind of winter, with billowy snowdrifts and shining icesicles. Alas, it it raining and flooding the yard instead. Ah well.

With weather like this, I just want to light some candles and bundle up on the couch with a good book. Add a bowl of this steaming hot chicken stew and we've got a date.

This recipe comes adapted from Cooks Country Magazine. If you need a belated Christmas gift (Valentines Day is coming up too!) for the foodie in your life, I highly recommend this magazine. I have yet to have a recipe be a total flop (though the cookies I just made were kinda flat and migrated together into one large pancake...serving size= 1 cookie. Whole pan eaten without guilt.)
The recipes are endlessly tested and each is accompanied with an explaination of what the cook tried and why it did or didn't work. Brilliant.   *this is not an advertisement*

On to the food!

Chicken Bon Femme
serves 2-3

1 1/2lbs skinless chicken thighs
3 slices bacon, chopped
3/4 pounds baby red potatoes, washed and halved
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp white wine vinegar (originally called for white wine, use 1/4 cup or so)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp dried parsely

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Chop up the bacon. I use scissors for this and it's a lot easier than trying to cut it with a knife. Cook the bacon in a dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat until crisp then set aside.

Those big pieces in the back were for me :-)

Crank the heat to about medium high and then add the chicken. Cook it until well browned then remove to a plate. If you used thighs with the skin, remove it and discard.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and use this to brown the potatoes, cut side down. It'll take about ten to 15 minutes but will smell awesome. Once the potatoes are brown, stir in the onion and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook another minute. Stir in the broth, vinegar,  most of the bacon bits (save some for garnish), and hot sauce. Bring this to a boil and add the chicken pieces to the pot, pouring in the delicious juices. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and reserved bacon. Serve and enjoy.

Happy Belated Christmas from Wesley the ferret!