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Don’t be thrown off by the number of ingredients or what seems to be many steps in this recipe. It isn’t hard and the results are amazing. This recipe is one of the best chicken dishes I have tried in a while. The gravy is rich and delicious. The chicken is tender. The mushrooms and onions compliment the chicken amazingly. This may be French food but it isn’t the pretentious, tiny serving you would imagine. This is rustic, heart warming food. I served it with Yukon Gold Potatoes with Parsley and Spring Onions. If you make the effort to prepare this dish, you will be so happy you did. I promise!

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Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms, and Bacon by Julia Child

  • 3 to 4 oz chopped bacon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs cut up frying chicken (I used boneless, skinless thighs)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 3 cups young, full bodied red wine such as Burgandy, Beaujolais, or Chianti
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 lb sauteed mushrooms (see below)
  • 12 to 24 brown braised onions (see below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Parsley to garnish

Cut the bacon into lardons. Saute in first 2 tbsp butter until lightly browned. Remove to a side dish. Dry chicken thoroughly and brown in the hot fat. Season the chicken and return the bacon to the casserole. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning chicken once. Uncover and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside. Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a side dish. Simmer the chicken cooking liquid for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Raise heat and boil the juices rapidly until they are reduced to 2 1/4 cups. Season to taste then remove bay leaf.

Blend together the 3 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp butter together to form a paste. Beat into the hot chicken liquid with a wire whisk. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Arrange the chicken, mushrooms and onions on a warmed platter and base with the sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Sauteed Mushrooms by Julia Child

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, whole if small, quartered if large
  • 2 tbsp minced shallots
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place an enameled skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their saute, the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface and the mushrooms will begin to brown.  As soon as they have lightly browned add in the shallots. Saute for another 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Brown-Braised Onions by Julia Child

  • 18 to 24 small peeled onions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or red wine
  • Herb bouquet: 4 sprigs parsley, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In an enameled skillet, melt together the butter and the oil. Add onions and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, moving the onions about so they will brown evenly. Be careful not to break the skins. Pour in the beef stock, add herbs, and season to taste. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until onions are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet.

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