I keep chicken thighs on hand in the freezer. They come in handy for a quick summer barbecue or a braise in the fall and winter. This chicken would be delicious served with a saffron risotto, pasta or roasted potatoes. If you can keep good, homemade stock in the freezer. Such a good thing to have on hand and so useful for so many things, like a big steaming bowl of soup!
Makes 4 Servings
8 – 10 chicken thighs or a combination of drumsticks & thighs
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup red wine
¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms (see below)
1 medium carrot, cut into small dice
1 medium stalk celery, cut into small dice
½ lb. brown mushrooms, cleaned & cut in half
1 oz. pancetta, but into small dice
8 small peeled Cipolline onions or 1 medium onion, peeled & cut into quarters
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock(see below) or tinned chicken broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage or ½ tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried thyme
Optional: ¼ tsp. red chili flakes or more to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Place the porcini in a bowl of warm water; soak for 20 minutes until soft. Remove from the water; squeeze out the liquid. Chop coarsely, set aside.
Heat 2 – 4 Tbsp. EVO in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down and cook until browned; turn over and brown the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until golden, then add the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms; sauté for 3 or 4 minutes; add the garlic; sauté for a minute or two longer. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute; stir in the chili flakes for 30 seconds if using; add the herbs and cook for a minute; add the red wine & stock . Stir together; return the chicken to the pan skin-side down, cover and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the chicken over, cover and return to the oven for 15 minutes. If the chicken is cooked (juices will run clear when pierced with a small knife), remove from the oven. Remove the chicken to a large serving platter and keep warm in a low oven. Meanwhile, skim any accumulated fat from the mixture in the pan. If the sauce requires a tiny bit of thickening, place the pan over medium heat; combine 1 tsp. potato starch with 1 Tbsp. red wine, stir into the sauce and let cook a couple of minutes; ladle the sauce over the chicken and serve.
A variation: you can leave out the mushrooms and add ½ to 2/3 cup of pitted large green olives. You could if you like, deglaze the pan with a bit of brandy before adding the liquids.