This simple braised white wine chicken is a lighter take on classic Coq Au Vin recipes, packed with vegetables & made with thighs for a speedier dinner.
BROWN: Roughly chop the bacon and add it to a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Pat the chicken thighs dry, then cook the chicken thighs, skin side down, in the rendered bacon fat until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and reserve the chicken – skin side up this time – on a plate to catch any juices.
CHOP: While the bacon and chicken are browning, slice the shallots into quarters through the root end and peel them. Peel and thinly slice the carrots. Wipe clean and slice the mushrooms. Peel & lightly smash the garlic.
SOFTEN: Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C. Pour off most of the rendered bacon and chicken fat, leaving behind a couple of tablespoons in the skillet and reserving the rest for other uses. Add the shallots, carrots, mushrooms & garlic to the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have cooked off their liquid, the vegetables have begun to brown in places & the garlic begun to soften, about 10 minutes.
DEGLAZE: Turn off the stove top and add a splash or two of white wine to the skillet, stirring up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining white wine & the chicken broth. Stir through the reserved bacon bits and use tongs to add the browned chicken thighs back to the pan, nestling them into the cooking liquid by gently pushing the vegetables aside to make little wells for each piece. Sprinkle with salt, to taste, then tuck in the fresh herbs.
BRAISE: Cover the skillet with a lid or piece of foil, then cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Increase the oven to 400 F / 205 C, remove the lid and cook until the chicken is done and the skin has re-crisped a little, about another 10 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate to rest.
THICKEN: Pop the skillet back onto the stove top over medium heat and bring the cooking liquid – there should still be plenty! – up to a simmer. Measure the cassava flour into a little bowl or jug and add enough water to stir it into a smooth slurry. Add the cassava flour slurry to the skillet, stirring it through, and cook for a minute or so, until the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Remove from the heat.
SERVE: Divide the chicken and vegetables between plates, spooning over the pan sauce. This is especially delicious served on a bed of my Creamiest Parsnip & Cauliflower Mash!