What five things do you always have in your refrigerator? I don’t wonder about the normal things like milk and eggs but about the things that are a little different and are used in the food you especially like to cook.
For me, I always have shallots, pancetta, pine nuts, unsalted butter and hoisin sauce. There is also always wine, but I consider that normal.
I don’t think there’s a recipe that would call for all of these ingredients, but this one calls for two of them. In fact, I depleted my shallot collection and had to restock. I do not like to be shallotless.
Here’s the step by step.
Get the chicken (all thighs, because they are my favourite).
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then sear them in a frypan.
While the chicken is cooking, get the other ingredients ready.
Gotta have pancetta.
Pancetta gotta be diced.
Gotta have shallots.
Shallots gotta be peeled and halved.
There are carrots.
The carrots are peeled and cut.
Get a fennel bulb…
… and dice it.
Get a clove of garlic and mince it.
If you are timing the prep just so, the chicken should be ready to remove from the pan.
Cook the pancetta.
When the pancetta is cooked, remove it from the pan to drain.
Get the vegetables in the pan.
When the vegetables are lightly browned, add the garlic.
Instead of the herb bundle called for in the recipe, I used a bouquet garni. I always have these around, but not in the fridge.
Add the bouquet garni, wine and chicken stock to the pan with the vegetables.
Put the pancetta back in the pan.
Get the chicken nestled in there too.
After 35 minutes (covered, on top of the stove), the chicken was cooked. It and the vegetables were removed and the liquid was reduced. If I had had a lemon I would have used it, but sadly lemons are not on the list of “Five Things I Always Have in My Refrigerator”. They should be.
Wine-Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta.
Served with Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes.
Wine-Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta
In this modern take on coq au vin, Riesling subs for the usual red wine.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.)
4 chicken drumsticks (about 1-1/2 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 oz. pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 heaping cup)
8 medium shallots, lobes separated, large lobes halved through the core
4 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices, large slices cut in half
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups dry fruity white wine, preferably Alsatian or German dry Riesling
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.
Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Arrange the chicken skin side down in the pot in a snug single layer and sear, flipping once, until golden brown all over, 10 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Cook the pancetta in the pot until well browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off and discard the fat.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots, carrots, and fennel, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until its aroma subsides, 1 to 2 minutes.
Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf together with twine (or tie them in a small cheesecloth sachet). Add the herb bundle to the pot, along with the wine. Simmer briskly, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits. Add the broth and return the chicken and pancetta to the pot, arranging the chicken in a single layer. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven.
Braise the chicken until the meat is fork-tender and just starting to come away from the bone, 35 to 45 minutes.
Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon and tent with foil. Discard the herb bundle. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and reduce to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.
Make Ahead Tips
This dish may be made up to 2 days ahead. Let the sauce cool before adding the chicken and vegetables and refrigerating. Reheat gently over medium-low heat before serving.