Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tasty Tuesday #2 -- Chicken with Bacon and Wine

This recipe is adapted from The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas. I got the book as an anniversary present, and have been working my way through it.

Chicken with Bacon and Wine

In a medium skillet, melt 3 T butter or margarine over moderate heat. Add 18 small white onions* and brown them lightly on all sides. Add 1/2 c chicken broth, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the onions for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 4 large boneless chicken breast halves** (1-1/2 to 2 pounds) in half lengthwise. Put 1/2 c all-purpose flour on a plate, and dredge the chicken pieces in it.

In a large deep skillet fry 4 thick or 6 thin slices bacon, cut into large dice*** over moderate heat, and drain on paper towels. Add the chicken to the drippings in the skillet and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate, and stir in 2 T flour. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the flour is becoming golden. Add 1 c red wine **** , increase the heat, and scrape to get all the browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Add 1c. chicken broth and 1 T tomato paste. Stir until well blended. Return the chicken to the pan and add the onions, the bacon, (2 crushed garlic cloves), 1/4 t. coarse pepper, and 1/2 t dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 1 t dried parsley in a cheesecloth packet or tea ball*****.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Add more broth if necessary. When done, add salt and more pepper to taste.

Remove and discard the herbs, transfer the chicken and onions to a serving dish, and pour the sauce over all. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 - 8 depending on appetite and side dishes. I like it with rice or a wild rice blend and green beans. Do make sure you have some kind of starch to soak up the luscious sauce!

* The first time I made this I used a bag of tiny onions that I had on hand. They tasted great, but pretty much vanished by the end of cooking.

** I originally used 6 chicken breasts, but everybody agreed that there wasn't enough sauce.

*** The original recipe calls for peppered bacon. If you have it on hand, omit the 1/4 t pepper below.

**** The original calls for Zinfandel. I used an inexpensive merlot, and it was fine.

***** This is a classic "bouquet garni". When I first made this, I packaged the herbs as directed. From now on I'll probably just throw them in and fish out the bay leaf. The garlic is in parentheses because it doesn't fly at my house.


Elizabeth said...

This sounds delicious! I can't believe there is something called The Bacon Cookbook. I think I'll put it on my Christmas list...

Tracy said...

The Bacon Cookbook. That there sounds so incredible and I haven't seen but one recipe. But how can you go very far wrong with BACON?


Jen said...

I am going to have to make that soon! It sounds really good.