- 2 kg (4 lb) chicken, jointed
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 150 g (5 oz) rindless bacon, diced
- 12 pickling onions, peeled
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 200 g (7 oz) whole button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 3 cups (750 ml) red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
- chopped fresh parsley, to serve
- Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium–high heat. Brown the chicken in two batches for 3 minutes on each side, removing each batch to a plate.
- Fry the bacon for 3 minutes, or until crisp; remove to a plate. Sauté the onions, celery and garlic for 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes, or until softened.
- Pour in the brandy, then the wine, stirring to loosen the solids from the bottom of the dish. Add the chicken, bacon, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Mix the butter and flour to a smooth paste, then stir into the sauce, 1 teaspoon at a time. Simmer for another few minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Garnish with extra thyme sprigs and serve.
Cook’s note For maximum flavour, prepare the casserole a day ahead. Reheat over medium heat before serving.
If you have a slow cooker you can sauté in, or you don’t mind using another pot, follow steps 1 and 2 above, then deglaze the pan with the brandy and wine, reducing the wine to 1 1/2 cups (375 ml). (Alternatively, omit the oil and the browning and sautéing steps.)
Transfer all the ingredients to the slow cooker, except the butter, flour and parsley. Gently combine, then cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Omit the butter and flour. Mix 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) with 2 tablespoons cold water to make a smooth paste, then stir into the sauce. Cover and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until thickened. Serve garnished with extra thyme sprigs.
Hot Pot, Crockpot, One Pot
For more delicious recipes that are a treat to eat and so easy to clean up after, see Hotpot, Crockpot, One Pot. Available from Reader’s Digest.