Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 2

September 16, 2014

The second try definitely worked out better. While my plan had been to use low-sodium soy sauce, on my way home from the supermarket I realized that I had forgotten to buy it. So I reduced the soy sauce (and therefore the saltiness) by 1/3 cup. The flavors were much more robust when not masked by the extreme saltiness of my first attempt.  Also, I broiled the chicken for just 2 minutes (in Step 8) until the chicken was lightly browned. Even though the chicken was far from the broiler element, it is still amazing how fast this 195-degree chicken will crisp up. This attempt earns a solid 4-stars; flavorful and balanced, easy to make.

Better than the first time

Better than the first time

BTW – Chris Kimball recommends serving this with steamed rice, but because my son had a friend over who loves potatoes, I served it with mashed potatoes. The kids gave the recipe as high as 4-1/2 stars.

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,

Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
2/3 cup soy sauce (or 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce)
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees. Trim away any skin and excess fat from the bottom of the thighs.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put the skillet into the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 3 to 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 1.

September 13, 2014

Actually, I made this recipe before my summer vacation, and I forgot to rate it at that time. My only comments were that it was too salty, and that I accidentally let mine broil for too long. It was a little too dark, but still flavorful. I will make it again tonight, and will post Part 2 tomorrow. The changes I will make are to buy low-sodium soy sauce and will be extra vigilant during the broiling process.

Final results were a little salty and overly dark

Final results were a little salty and overly dark

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,
  2. He also recommends serving with steamed rice, but I might make potatoes.

Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:30 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 1 cup water, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put skillet in pre=heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and contine to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

 


Chicken Saltimbocca

April 26, 2014

This was the second recipe that I ever made on this blog, over 4 years ago. It continues to be one of my favorite Chris Kimball recipe of all time. The recipe as I’ve listed below is portioned slightly different from Chris Kimball’s original recipe; this version yields 6 cutlets rather than 8. I make it every few weeks, because it is so easy and perfect for a mid-week meal; it is ready in about 45 minutes with minimal effort. My kids love it and the pay off is immense. The only thing that can go wrong with the recipe is you don’t reduce the wine sufficiently in Step 11. Otherwise a fool-proof 5-stars.

Delicious and takes about 15 minutes of work

Delicious and takes about 15 minutes of work

Comments:

  1. I sometimes make Saltimboca when visiting friends and relatives, and noticed that many supermarkets only sell pre-packaged prosciutto. The pre-packaged stuff is always domestic, and I prefer Prosciutto de Parma available only at deli counter. Ask them to cut it thick enough for the slices to hold together.   It they are cut too thinly sliced, or shaved, you risk losing the prosciutto when you flip the chicken. On the other extreme, thick slices won’t stick to the chicken.
  2. If you get the thin end of the prosciutto, then you’ll need 6 slices.
  3. The only thing that can go wrong with this recipe is that you don’t reduce the sauce properly in step 11. If you don’t concentrate the wine sufficiently, the sauce will not be intense. Also be careful not to burn the sauce, it goes quickly from 1/4-cup down to burned goo.

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $8.
How much work? Low
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 5:30pm. Dinner time 6:30pm.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1/3-cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
3 slices prosciutto (1/4-pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cups dry vermouth or white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper

  1. Trim away any ragged edges as necessary, and cut away the pointy tips trimming back 1 inch to form a rounded cutlet. Lay chicken flat on cutting board and put in freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put flour in a shallow dish or plate.
  3. Lay your hand flat on top of chicken, and with knife flat (parallel to cutting board) slice each breast to form two thinner cutlets. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half to form 6 pieces. I like to cut it at a bit of an angle to approximate the shape of the chicken cutlets.
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200°.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in 12″ skillet (regular, not non-stick) over medium-high burner until begins to shimmer; about 4 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, work in batches of 3, pat cutlets dry with paper towels. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off any excess and lay cutlets flat with the flattest side upward. Lay a slice of prosciutto on top of each cutlet, pressing lightly to try to get it to adhere. (mine never adheres, but it’s okay)
  7. Add 3 cutlets to skillet with the prosciutto-side down. Cook for 4 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Flip and cook on other side until golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken
  9. Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  10. Repeat with another 1 tablespoons olive oil and remaining 3 cutlets, then put in oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.
  11. Pour off any excess fat from skillet. Turn up heat to high and add vermouth/wine. Use metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits, and allow to reduced for 7 minutes to about 1/4 cup. Add lemon juice and whisk in butter, a tablespoon at a time.
  12. Off heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from oven and place on platter. Spoon sauce over cutlets before serving.

Italian-Style Charcoal-Grilled Chicken

April 13, 2014

Yesterday was the best grilling day so far in 2014, so I took advantage by making a simple, grilled, herb chicken.  The recipe uses common bricks, wrapped in foil, to ensure that the skin will brown evenly and completely rendered. The skin was delicious, but tore away in spots because I didn’t loosen it using a metal spatula in step 11. I originally made this recipe about 4 years ago, but again somewhat under-estimated the time required to make the recipe. Because I used a 5-lb chicken (the recipe is timed for a 4-lb chicken), I added 5-minutes to each of the grilling times given in the instructions. The chicken was perfectly cooked and flavorful. Just be sure that you start early enough in the afternoon, allocating 4 hours for a 5-pound chicken. 4-stars.

Beautifully grilled chicken; but takes 4 hours

Beautifully grilled chicken; but takes 4 hours

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball says that you can use a cast iron skillet in lieu of bricks, but I recommend bricks for each of clean-up.
  2. Be sure to use a thermometer to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked. The timings were off by more than 20 minutes, based upon the size of my chicken.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $7.00
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium/High.
Start time 2:30 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium garlic cloves
1 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons juice
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
4-pound whole chicken
Vegetable oil for cooking grate

  1. In a small saucepan, add olive oil, lemon zest, and pepper flakes. Peel garlic and press the 8 cloves directly into oil. Place saucepan over medium-low burner and bring up to a simmer; about 3 minutes. Meanwhile chop thyme and rosemary, and when oil begins to simmer add 3 teaspoons thyme and 2 teaspoons rosemary and cook for 30 seconds more (reserving 1 teaspoon of each herb for sauce in step 13). Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and strain oil, pressing on solids to extract as much oil as possible (for use in sauce in step 13). Empty solids into another small bowl (to apply onto chicken in step 5), and set aside both bowls.
  2. Butterfly the chicken by cutting through bones on both sides of backbone (with kitchen shears); either discard backbone or save for making homemade chicken stock.
  3. Flip chicken over and use the heel of your hand to flatten the breasts; tuck the wings behind the back. Use your fingers to loosen the skin over the breasts, thighs and drumsticks. Trim away any excess fat to prevent flareups.
  4. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt ( or 1-1/2 teaspoons table salt) and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon salt/pepper mixture (or or 1-1/2 teaspoons if using table salt) with cooled garlic solids.
  5. Use your fingers to evenly spread the salt/garlic mixture under skin on the breast, thighs, drumsticks.
  6. Flip chicken and sprinkle remaining salt/pepper on the meat on the boney side of the chicken.
  7. Set a wire rack in foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Put chicken skin-side up and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours.
  8. With about 20 minutes remaining, light a 3/4-filled chimney starter filled with charcoal and allow 20-minutes to ignite. Meanwhile wrap 2 bricks with aluminum foil.
  9. After coals become mostly covered in fine grey ash, evenly spread all coals over half the grill, leaving the other half empty. Set the cooking grate and position the wrapped bricks directly over coals. Cover and pre-heat for 5 minutes. Clean the cooking grate (using dish towels to handle the hot bricks); scrape grill and wipe with a wad of vegetable-oil dipped paper towels. You should only be able to hold your hand 5″ above grill grate for 3 to 4 seconds.
  10. Set chicken with skin-side down over the cool side of the grill with the legs facing towards the fire. Using dish towels to handle the hot bricks put them lengthwise over each breast. Cover and cook for 25 minutes; until you see faint grill marks.
  11. Use a metal spatula to carefully ensure that the chicken hasn’t stuck to the grill. Use tongs and a kitchen towel, gripping legs, a flip chicken. Position with skin-side up directly over the coals with the breasts towards the center of the grill. Replace bricks over breasts, cover grill, and continue cooking for 12 to 15 minutes until the chicken becomes well-browned.
  12. Remove bricks (you won’t use them anymore) and flip chicken skin-side down to crisp the skin over the hot coals.  Continue cooking for at least 5 to 10 minutes, moving chicken around to cook evenly and to prevent flare-ups. When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches the proper temperature (165-degrees for chicken breasts and 175-degrees for thighs and drumstick), move to a cutting board and allow to rest, uncovered for 10 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, add lemon juice into oil reserved from step 1. Add remaining thyme and rosemary, and adjust salt and pepper according to your taste. Carve chicken and serve, passing the sauce separately.

“Perfect” Poached Chicken Breasts with Cumin-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

March 28, 2014

While Chris Kimball has a tendency to claim every one of his recipes is the best ever, I nevertheless wanted to investigate his latest claim that this recipe will render “perfect” poached chicken breasts. I remember he tried a something technique about 2 years ago (see here). The bottom-line is a little better than 2 years ago; the chicken is perfectly cooked and moist. His new technique use a vegetable steam to elevate the chicken from the hot pans bottom helps cook the chicken even more evenly. But my main complaint is the same as before. I care more about better flavor than perfect texture, and the lack of any carmalization whatsoever leaves a lackluster result. I paired the chicken with a delicious Cumin-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce; he also has a warm tomato-ginger vinaigrette; but leaving all the flavoring to the sauce makes this recipe just 3-1/2 stars. Still perfectly enjoyable, but coming up short.

Tasted better than the phone appears

Tasted better than the cell phone photo appears

I think that this recipe would be better if you quickly browned the chicken in a skillet before poaching. You can later use that same skillet to make your sauce, and use the sauteing of the shallot to build even more flavor.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $10
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Ready at 6:15 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original chicken recipe is here, and the sauce recipe is here. My descriptions of how I prepare them are given below:

Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6- to 8-ounce each)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  1. Trim chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap and use a meat pounder to gently pound the thick ends until measures 3/4″ thick.
  2. Add 4 quarts water to Dutch oven, adding 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons sugar. Whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Peel and smash garlic and add to pot.
  3. Put steamer basket into Dutch oven, which will prevent the chicken from touching to hot bottom. Submerge chicken with skin-side up, arranging so as to not overlap the chicken. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Place Dutch oven over medium burner, occasionally stirring liquid to ensure even heating, for 15 to 20 minutes until the water measures 175-degrees. Remove your pot from burner, cover, and allow to sit for 18 to 22 minutes until the chicken registers 160-degrees.
  5. Allow chicken to rest of a cutting board for 5 minutes, covered tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Meanwhile make your sauce according to the recipe below.
  7. After resting, slice chicken on bias into 1/4″-thick slices, set onto serving platter, cover with sauce, and serve.

 Cumin-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  1. Mince shallot and garlic. Chop 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro.
  2. Place a small skillet over medium burner, and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until it begins to shimmer.
  3. Saute shallot for 2 minutes, then add in minced garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes and continue sauteing for 30 more seconds.
  4. Remove pan from heat and whisk in yogurt, water, lime juice, and another 1 tablespoon oil.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste.
  6. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve, but stir in cilantro just prior to serving.

Easier Fried Chicken

February 1, 2014

While my kids love fried chicken, I hate having to deal with the 5 cups of leftover oil. The 1-3/4 cups of oil used in this recipe is not enough to cook the chicken evenly, but it is enough to create a wonderfully crispy exterior.  Once the chicken is crispy, the chicken finishes cooking in a 400-degree oven. As an added benefit, while the chicken bakes a lot of the excess oil from frying drained away into the baking sheet. The results are crispy and less greasy than typical fried chicken. The only slight drawback is the coating on the bottom chicken becomes a little soggy as some of the chicken juices come out during baking. 4-stars.

Uses only 1-3/4 cups of oil

Uses only 1-3/4 cups of oil

If you have a splatter-screen, be sure to use it during frying. While the chicken is well seasoned, next time I will kick up the spices a little. I like it spicy.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $6 for 3-1/2 pounds.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:00 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

3-1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
Table salt
dash hot sauce
3 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-3/4 cups vegetable oil

  1. Trim away any excess fat, and cut breasts in half so that they are roughly the same size as the rest of the chicken pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, add 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, dash of hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and pinch of cayenne. Whisk until combined, and add chicken. Turn until entirely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to brine in refrigerator for 1 hour (or up to overnight).
  3. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 400-degrees.
  4. In a medium bowl, add 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Whisk to combine. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and combine using your hands until you get small clumps.
  5. One piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour mix and press onto chicken so that you get a thick, even coating. Set chicken skin-side up on a large place and repeat dredging with remaining chicken.
  6. In an 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven, add 1-3/4 cups vegetable oil, set it over a medium-high burner and heat until the oil reaches 375-degrees. Place chicken in oil with the skin-side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until it becomes golden brown. Flip and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the second side becomes golden brown. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and put a wire on top.
  7. When chicken has browned, move to wire rack/baking sheet, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken reaches its final temperature; 160 for breasts, and 175-degrees for legs and thighs. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.

Coq au Vin

January 19, 2014

There are only a handful of recipes that make up part of who I am as an individual. Coq au Vin is one of them. I first had the dish is Paris in 1992, but was unable to replicate its rich sauce upon my return home to San Francisco. It took me 20 years of trial and error (and the invention of the internet) for me to even come close. Coq au Vin taught me the important lessons of patience and perseverance in my 20’s. My life would have been different had I chosen a different item for that 1992 Parisian menu. Last night, I made my best Coq au Vin yet. 4-1/2 stars. A few minor tweaks will easily bring this up to a full 5-stars. Delicious and worth the 3+ hours.

Your 3 hours will be richly rewarded

Your 3 hours will be richly rewarded

The secret to delicious Coq au Vin is patience. It takes over 3 hours, and even after removing the fully-cooked chicken, it still requires reducing the sauce as much as 50 minutes. In Step 10, take the time to measure out the sauce to ensure you’ve reduced it far enough. After 35 minutes, I still had nearly 4 cups of sauce (see photo at bottom of post), though I was expecting only 2 cups.

Comments:

  1. I recommend using salt pork. I modified the recipe below so I will use it next time. Last night I used thick-cut bacon, but the smokey flavor of the bacon doesn’t integrate completely into this recipe.
  2. This recipe is more typically usually accompanied only by parsley potatoes. I served them with mashed potatoes today.
  3. Chris Kimball says to use 24 frozen pearl onions, and to thaw, drained, and pat them dry with a paper towel. In the past I have been unable to find frozen pearl onion, except sold in a disgusting pre-made cream sauce. I did try the cream sauced variety (from Birds-Eye) once, but will never use them again. Today, I did see that Birds-Eye also sells a larger bag of un-sauced, frozen pearl onions. I used my fresh boiler onions.
  4. Chris Kimball recipe doesn’t call for any brandy, but I added some based upon Julia Child’s recipe. She adds and flames the Cognac just after browning the chicken, but I did it after softening the mushrooms, because of the 1/2 cup of chicken fat that I removed in Step 5.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $18.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time: 3:00 PM. Dinner time: 6:20 PM.

Chris Kimball’s version of this recipe was in his 10th Anniversary America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

6-oz Salt Pork
4-lbs Bone-in chicken thighs
8-oz Pearl Onions (Labelled boiler onions in my supermarket)
10-oz white mushrooms
1/4 cup brandy
2 medium cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 bottle medium-bodied red wine
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaf
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 pounds russet potatoes (for mashed potatoes) or small new potatoes (for parsley potatoes).

  1. Remove the rind and cut the salt pork into lardons; 1/4″ x 1″ match sticks. Cook the salt pork in a dutch oven for 10 minutes over medium heat until browned, using a spatter screen if you have one (which you will also use for the chicken). Remove salt pork to paper towels and pat to remove any excess grease. Set aside until ready to serve. If your chicken is not yet prepared as part of Step 2, then remove pot from heat.
  2. Meanwhile while the bacon is cooking, prepare your chicken by trimming away any excess fat. Dry the chicken using paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. If you have less than 2 tablespoons of pork fat, add vegetable oil. Cook the chicken in two batches over medium-high heat, cooking for 8 minutes per side (a total of 32 minutes). Again, use a splatter screen if you have one, because the spattering chicken makes a big mess. After each batch is complete remove to a plate and set aside.
  4. While the chicken cooks prepare pearl onions and quarter mushrooms. If using fresh pearl onions, roll the onions between your hands to remove as much of the papery exterior as possible, then slice off root ends. Add the onions to boiling water for 1 minute, empty to a strainer then shock in an ice water bath. This will help you remove any remaining outer skin.
  5. Remove all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan (I removed 1/2 cup of extra fat), and cook the quartered mushrooms and pearl onions over medium burner for 10 minutes. Pour brandy into pot and light it on fire with a long match or BBQ lighter. Swirl the pan and let the flames go for about a minute until they start to burn out naturally.
  6. Press garlic cloves directly into pot and add 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Cook for 30 seconds, then add flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
  7. Add wine, chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add thyme, bay leaves add 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  8. Return the chicken to the pot, nestling the pieces so that they are submerged. Cover pot and cook chicken over medium-low burner for 45 minutes, maintaining a slight simmer; until chicken reaches correct internal temperature; 175 for dark meat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken when done, placing in a large bowl and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  9. While the chicken cooks, put a large pot of salted water on the stove-top and begin heating for your mashed potatoes.
  10. Reduce sauce, uncovered, for between 35 and 50 minutes until the sauce has reduce to about 2 cups and is thick. Replace the chicken in the pot for last 5 minutes to reheat.
  11. Remove pot from heat and put chicken on serving platter. Fish out the 2 bay leaves, whisk in the butter and adjust salt and pepper according to your taste. Pour sauce over chicken and spring with pork and parsley.
After 35 minutes I still had nearly 4 cups

After 35 minutes I still had nearly 4 cups; keep reducing!


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