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.
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
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.