Chicken thighs, tomato, garlic, shallots and white wine come together in a big way with this slow-braised dish. Think of i...
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It's hearty and delicious. When I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it, as braising is perhaps my favorite cooking method.
I used chicken legs and added 3 oz of diced pancetta immediately after adding the garlic and the shallots and before pouring the wine. I just wondered if it might have been better to cook the pancetta before adding the garlic and shallots. That hint of bacon was there in the sauce anyway. After the chicken was cooked, I reduced the sauce until it got thicker (some 10 min on medium-high heat) and served with polenta (made with chicken stock). It tasted great and I'll sure repeat it.
For the pancetta I would say that you are correct in thinking that it may have been better to cook it before the garlic and shallots. This would cook out more of the fat and also give the pancetta a bit more flavor....not a huge deal though.
Glad you liked the recipe. I am with you on the "braising is perhaps my favorite cooking method". I feel the same way, it's like magic!
How do you measure a shallot? Recipes may call for 2 or 3 shallots with no indication as to the quantity that makes (this recipe is an exception). Is a single shallot one part of the two that may be in the dry outer skin? Or is a single shallot everything inside the dry skin? This question has bothered me for quite a while. Experienced cooks, please solve this enigma for me. Thanks, Dotty in TX.
It's hard to say the exact measurement for a shallot. Sometimes there are two cloves in one bulb…but they are small. And then sometimes a single-clove shallot will be quite large. (BTW… a ping pong ball-size is quite large). Generally if they are not really big I just think of them as one whether there are one or two cloves inside the skin.
I don’t’ really over think it though…I sometimes just look at how much I have chopped and think…that’s enough…whether it was one, two or three shallots.
That’s the beauty of shallots; they are one of those ingredients that you do not have to be very precise with.
Here are a few more suggestions:
If you are cooking with shallots, don’t worry so much about the exact measurement and err on the generous side as they add super flavor.
If you are using them uncooked, like in a salad dressing, err on the less generous side as they can have a bit of an overpowering flavor when raw (like garlic).
My last piece of advice (or exercise for you) is to chop a whole bunch of shallots (3 or 4 any size) and sweat them in butter for about 10 minutes then taste them. This is an amazing flavor to add to many dishes.
Hope this helps! Good luck
I made this tonight for some rather picky friends, and it was wonderful. I read through the recipe a few times, and Dawn emphized picking the chicken with bones and skin. I was afraid the skin would be flabby etc., but because of Dawn's reason for picking the chicken with the skin and bones, I went ahead and followed the recipe, only change was adding mushrooms, because I was given some fresh mushrooms, and really wanted to use them. It was one of the best meals yet, served over polenta...thank you as always, you guys make me look good!!!
Cornstarch should work. I use cornstarch when I am making sweet and sour pork and it gives the pork a nice crust. Just be sure to brush off the excess cornstarch or the sauce could potentially become too thick, as cornstarch has more thickening power than flour does. Hope this helps!
Is the reason for 2/3 covering the chicken so that the skins stay out of the liquid and don't get all soggy-like? I just barely covered the chicken and although I liked it, my wife complained that the skins were gooey and not crispy. I did brown them of course for quite a while but I think being in the liquid they absorbed a lot of water.
This dish is not meant to have crispy skin. The browning of the chicken simply provides more flavor to the dish. The liquid:meat ratios are covered in the lessons on Combination Cooking (this dish, by definition, is braised).
The ratio is to provide a good balance of sauce to meat in the final dish, while also providing enough liquid for the meat to slowly cook and become tender. When using any combination cooking method, it's important to understand that you won't ever have a crispy or crunchy result. Hope this helps. Cheers!
I was thinking about the same thing, how to get the skin crispy. What if you placed the chicken legs under the broiler for about 15 minutes after the brasing is complete and before serving? I guess no one can stop me from trying but maybe someone made the mistake already me and I can learn from it... if it IS a mistake.
In the Stewing lesson "Building a Stew" (at 1:32) it recommends we don't coat the meat with flour as it can get in the way of browning. Would that mostly apply to red meat? The chicken still comes out with great colour, even with the flour, so am wondering when would we choose to coat with flour and when not to.
You are on the right track. It also depends on the dish. Since this sauce is more difficult to thicken at the end of cooking (in a stew the sauce can be thickened in a variety of ways), the flour here will help to thicken the sauce slightly as it cooks.
When making meat stews, some cooks do coat red meat with flour prior to browning. It's not that you "shouldn't" do it, we just believe you can get better browning and better results if the meat isn't coated in flour. Having said that, in the end, it is up to you to see which method you prefer. Hope this helps! Cheers!
Rouxbe, I'm thinking about making this dish for my wife's birthday tomorrow, and I want to ask a few questions ahead of time, just to make sure I got it right. First, I was wondering whether the tomatoes need to be "roughly chopped." If I de-seed with my passatutto, of course, it will be a puree. Should I skip the passatutto this time around and do it by hand? Second, I have some nice sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge, but they're not packed in oil. Can I go ahead and use those? Third, I want to use four quarters (since I already have them), instead of 12 thighs. Is that a bad idea and does it affect the recipe in any other way? Last - and sorry to be a nuisance - can you recommend a vegetable side?
To answer your questions...
1) The tomatoes do not need to be roughly chopped but this does give them a nice rustic texture. If you use the passatutto (which you can) the sauce will just be smoother like more of a tomato sauce. As to whether you should skip the passatutto and do it by hand...this is up to you.
2) Yes you can use sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil they will work just fine. Even if the tomatoes are not as moist as the ones in oil they will work as there is plenty of sauce to rehydrate the tomatoes (if needed).
3) You do not have to just use thighs. Just remember that any breast meat will dry out if it is over cooked as lean white meat is not ideal for braising.
4) Vegetable sides...there are many sides that would go with this. Roasted cauliflower, glazed carrots, rapini, green beans etc. I think last time I made this I served it with these Sauteed Carrots. For more ideas you can always type in "vegetables" in the search field or click on "sides" to the left of the recipe page.
Good luck and Happy Birthday to your girlfriend. Can't think of a better gift then having someone you love cook for you :-)
I know how important 'Choosing the Right Pot' is. However, once I have browned the chicken and cooked the sauce (that is, to the end of Step 3) in my 3-qt Le Creuset dutch oven, is there any reason I couldn't assemble the dish in a glass (remember the old Corningware Visions) casserole? It's the largest dish I have in terms of 'floor space' to place the chicken in s single layer. Do you happen to know if Visions can be used on the stove-top to bring the sauce to a simmer?
You could certainly transfer everything to your glass casserole dish if you need to. As for whether or not you can use "Visions" on the stove-top, I am not sure of this as I am not familiar with the product specifically. Perhaps check their website (if they have one) or you could search online. There is also this Rouxbe forum thread that talks a fair bit about glassware on the stovetop. Cheers!
I don't have this kind of cookware. After searing the meat and sauteing the vegetables, could everything be transferred to a crock pot to be cooked on low for 2-3 hours? When done, the sauce can be strained into a sauce pan and finished. Is this an alternative? Would the cooking time be longer in a crock pot?
Yes you could do as you described. As for whether it would take longer to cook in a crock pot, the answer is likely no, as a crock pot usually cooks things at about 190F and this recipe calls for the temperature to be set to 200F. Really though it's done when it's done, so be sure to check the meat. Cheers!
I made this dish today and served it over noodles. Only, I doubled the recipe, but only used half of the stock. I still found the sauce fairly runny. I actually doubled it to serve at a luncheon tomorrow. Should I reduce the sauce or add a slurry? Or, is it supposed to be rather thin?