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Champagne–Browned Butter Chicken

Champagne–Browned Butter Chicken

This is a riff on coq au vin, the French standard of chicken and veggies simmered in red wine. The coq usually takes on a deep purplish-red cast from the vin, but our modern take cooks the chicken in broth: It tastes lighter and looks much brighter. After the chicken cooks, it's smothered with a delicious Champagne reduction sauce that's enriched with nutty brown butter.

Ingredients

2 slices center-cut bacon

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

6 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 1 3/4 pounds)

6 bone-in chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound red-skinned potatoes, quartered

1 pound button mushrooms, halved

1/4 cup brandy

4 shallots, halved

3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson)

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

3 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

12 baby carrots with tops

1 cup Champagne

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Reserve bacon for another use. Place 2/3 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken lightly in flour; shake off excess flour. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken.

3. Add potatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in brandy. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 30 seconds), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan. Add shallots and stock; bring to a boil. Place peppercorns and next 3 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges; tie with butcher's twine. Add bundle to pan. Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 15 minutes.

4. Trim carrot tops to 1-inch; scrub carrots. Add the carrots to pan. Bake an additional 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is done. Remove chicken and vegetables from pan; keep warm. Discard herb bundle. Place pan over medium-high heat. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until mixture reduces to 2/3 cup (about 11 minutes).

 

5. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook butter 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add butter mixture to reduced wine mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with chicken and vegetables. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and thyme.

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