This is a variation of Julia Child’s Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme. Or for those of you that don’t speak French it’s Casserole-roasted Chicken with Bacon, Onions and Potatoes. I also added leaks, ginger, mushrooms and white wine. I took a risk with the ginger. I wasn’t sure how it would go with with the bacon. But the way I did it the ginger flavor was just enough to add depth to the dish without overwhelming it. This was very good. In a very gourmet sort of way. This will please a crowd for sure. My family full with 3 picky eaters tore it up.
You will need:
1 large roaster chicken cut up into pieces. Save the breast for another meal-preferably pastured (grass fed-really adds to the flavor and tenderness. Plus it’s WAY better for you)
2 medium onions
1/2 pd or more of button mushrooms
3 medium red skinned potatoes
5 pieces bacon (nitrate free)
3-4 cloves garlic chopped finely
2ish tbls. butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup white wine (I used cooking wine but the real thing would be better)
2 tsp. ginger chopped finely
about 1 tbls. fresh thyme
3 tbls. fresh parsley-leaves only
Kosher salt -good amount maybe a tbl.
Fresh ground black pepper
2-3 small bay leaves
1/4 or less red wine vinegar
Cast iron braiser or dutch oven (I used a braiser) You could also use a casserole dish but you need a tight fitting lid to lock in the flavor and juices
Ok, this is a bit time consuming until you get it in the oven but it isn’t hard at all. The beauty about it is that you can cook it all in one dish.
First thing you want to do is set the rack down to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 325. Also put your braiser on top of the stove and heat to medium. Now cook the bacon to an almost burnt crisp. You want to render the grease for the dish.
While the bacon is cooking you want to cut up the chicken, saving the breast for another dish. Pat dry the chicken completely and salt generously on both sides with kosher salt. You do this to achieve a better browning effect. Once the bacon is done cooking remove it from the pan and place the chicken inside and begin to brown it.
Doesn’t look so hot yet, I know but your not done! So while the chicken is busy doing it’s thing on this side go ahead and start chopping up the onions. Cut them length wise, cut off the ends, peel and dice into smallish pieces julienne style.
Check to see if the chicken has browned sufficiently. You may need to move it around a but to make sure each part gets a chance to touch the bottom. You can go ahead and flip it over once one side is browned. Grind some pepper over it.
Now chop up the leaks, mushrooms, garlic and ginger.
Once the chicken is browned as evenly as possible go ahead and remove it and place it on a clean plate. Now add the onions and saute for just a few minutes before adding leaks, garlic and ginger. As you continue to saute add the red wine vinegar plus some more kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Your pan should smoke up a bit when you add the liquid, that’s what you want. It will cause the liquid to reduce so it isn’t soggy but still imparts the flavor. Once the items are just tender remove from the heat.
Now add the mushroom and cook the same way. You can add a bit of butter if the pan is to dry. You cook the mushroom separately because they need ample room to cook properly.
Remove the mushroom and melt about a tablespoon of butter and the white wine into the braiser and let it melt. Once combined arrange the chicken back into the the braiser. Top chicken with some more salt and pepper and top with about 2 tsp. of fresh thyme.
Cut the potatoes into small pieces-sliced length wise not into cubes. Chop up the fresh parsley and toss it with the potatoes, salting them as you go. Keep separate from the other veggies.
Now chop up the bacon and add it to the sauteed veggies. Toss it all together and add about 2 more tsp. of fresh thyme and some more salt and pepper.
Now top the chicken with the veggies and place the potatoes around the side of the dish filling in any gaps along the edge. Top with a few more springs of thyme and parsley, the bay leaves and a dash more of kosher salt and pepper.
Put the lid on the braiser or whatever your using and bake for 45 mins. Check the meat and if it’s not done then you have two choices at this point depending on how much time you have. You can do what I did and up the temp. to 400 and cook for 15 more mins. until done or just put it back in and cook until done. Mine came out perfectly tender and you can do this if you are using a braiser or dutch oven. If not then I would just keep the temp. low and continue to cook until it’s done. You will know the chicken is cooked when the juices run clear. The meat will be really easy to pull off the bone at this point as well.
Cool. Now your done! Not so bad huh?
I served mine with buttered rosemary rolls. It would also go really well with rice or buttered egg noodles which is traditional.
ENJOY! Serves about 6