Braised Chicken With Bacon, Fingerling Potatoes and Dried Fruit
- 1 roaster chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 8 oz slab bacon, cut into lardons
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 C dry white wine
- 3 C good-quality chicken stock, or make your own
- 1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 C dried prunes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 C dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 2 T fresh chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper, to taste
In a medium-warm wood oven, heat a roasting pan large enough to hold all the chicken. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add the vegetable oil to the pan and then add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Brown the chicken until golden, then flip over and do the same on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add the bacon lardons to the pan and slowly render until the bacon is browned and crispy. If the bacon has given off a lot of fat, drain off the excess, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add the sliced onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sweat, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add the white wine and allow it to reduce by three-quarters.
Once the wine is reduced, add the chicken stock, potatoes, dried fruit and mustard to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Taste the liquid for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan skin side up. Cover the pan with foil and cook for 15 minutes. You want the liquid in the pan to be just simmering. If it is boiling hard, your oven is too hot and your chicken is going to be dry. Try putting the pan on top of a rack so that it’s not in direct contact with the oven floor.
After 15 minutes, remove the foil and check the potatoes for doneness. If they are starting to get tender, remove the foil and allow the braise to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are completely soft. Otherwise, put the foil back on and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes before removing the foil.
When your potatoes and chicken are both tender, remove the pan from the oven. If your braise has a lot of fat floating on the top, use a spoon or small ladle to skim off the excess and discard. Remove the chicken from the pan and stir in the butter and parsley. Put the chicken back, adjust the seasoning, and you’re good to go. Serve over rice or noodles if you wish, or just enjoy your savory-sweet-smoky concoction as is with a nice saison-style beer or grüner veltliner near at hand.