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I like to keep chicken thighs on hand in the freezer. They come in handy for a quick summer barbecue or a braise in the fall & winter months. The chicken would be delicious served with a saffron risotto, pasta or roasted potatoes. I like to keep good, homemade stock in the freezer, especially in the fall and winter. 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** 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 coarsley, set aside.
Heat 2 – 4 Tbsp. EVO in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt & pepper. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down & 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 & cook until golden, then add the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, celery & mushrooms; sauté for 3 or 4 minutes; add the garlic & sauté for a minute or two longer. Stir in the tomato paste & 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 & turn the chicken over, cover & 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 & 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 & let cook a couple of minutes; ladle the sauce over the chicken & 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.
**If you would like to make your own chicken stock, please go to Making Stock.
**To see how to peel the onions, please go to Blanching Vegetables.