Thursday, January 20, 2011

Herbed Chicken in a Pot (my version)

Ok, so in the fridge is a pack of chicken breasts, with skin and bones, that was on sale at HEB for $1.00/lb. The package cost $3.00 so even I can do that math. 3, one lb breasts, that works!

Also in the fridge I find one carrot, one rib of celery, one onion, sweet... dinner is herbed chicken in a pot. I knew I had herbs and a pot!

It's finally cold again in Austin and that gets my home cooking juices flowing. I have a lot of other things to do today so dinner has to play alone for a while.

It's my version of "french" chicken in a pot. The classic version is a whole chicken, and as much as I love a whole chicken, sometimes you just have pieces. I prefer it with thighs but today I didn't have any. I do it with chicken, veggies, herbs and baby onions slow braised in the oven for hours


3 chicken breasts, with skin and bones
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, cut in half
handful of frozen baby onions IF you have them
3 slices of bacon
some wine
some water
some cream
(it depends on your own water, wine, cream preference, we'll get to that later)

Cut up all your veg and arrange beautifully on a cutting board. Slice 3 slices of bacon and fry them till crisp. Heavily salt and pepper your chicken.

Remove bacon to white bowl and do not eat it. You will see, I failed this point miserably. Ideally, you'll return it to the pot later, obviously, today I don't live in an ideal place. Put your chicken skin side down in pretty hot pot and leave it there to brown, don't touch it, salt and pepper the back and have some coffee while you wait, this part matters. You'll get a much richer sauce if you spend a few minutes here.

*really, I cannot be trusted near crispy fried bacon, perhaps an intervention is in order?

When the chicken is dark on both sides, put in your veggies and fry them up in the remaining bacon and chicken fat until they're just a bit soft. Put in "some" herbs d'provence which is a herb mix I adore. I don't ever measure but this is how much I used. Add parsley if you like, tarragon, anything is fine!

Fry it up together and toss in the mini frozen onions and garlic at the end and "shush" it around a bit.

WINE TIME! Pour in some dry white wine to scrape up the dark bits off the bottom of the casserole. Another moment where it matters. If you have an aversion to wine (gasp) then use water. Boil it down a bit and scrape everything up. The bottom of the pan should be clean!

Add enough water to barely cover the vegetables and put the chicken breasts back on top. Cover the dish with foil and the lid (we want it sealed well) and pop it into a 275 degree oven for 2 hours. See ya!

Oh look at this, yummy! the sauce is so concentrated, it's ridiculous good!!

Remove the chicken and vegetables and boil the liquid hard, add enough cream to make it lovely and then if it needs thickening, add a little flour mixed with butter (even amounts of each) and stir that in. It won't be lumpy so long as the liquid is boiling when you add it.

Lower the heat, put the chicken back in and you're done, crazy easy, crazy delicious and even though it cooks for a long time you don't have to actually DO anything other than some email, texting or having a glass of wine while you're on the phone.

This is the finished product, then I decided to take the meat off the bones because Connor doesn't like bones, yeah, I'm a cool mom like that. Either way is delicious. I'm serving this tonight with oven roasted red and white potatoes, just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Perfect cold weather fare!!


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