Chicken Braised with Chanterelles

4 10 to 12-ounce chicken leg quarters

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¾ pound chanterelles, torn into bite-size pieces

2 strips bacon, diced

4 shallots, sliced

¼ cup white wine

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup cream

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

 

Season the chicken leg quarters generously with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature for about half an hour.

 

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken leg quarters skin side down and cook without disturbing for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they release from the pan and are crusty and brown. Using tongs, turn the chicken leg quarters and continue to cook over medium-high heat another 4 to 5 minutes, or until brown.* The chicken should not be cooked through at this point. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the chanterelles to the pot and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chanterelles to the plate with the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the bacon to the pot, and fry, tossing frequently, for 6 to 7 minutes, or until rendered. Using the slotted spoon, remove the bacon to the plate with the chicken.

 

Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot. Add the shallots to the pot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the wine and simmer for a minute or so, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a heat-proof spatula. Return the chicken, chanterelles, and bacon to the pot and add the broth, cream, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is fork tender and the meat shrinks away from the bones. Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Simmer the braising liquid for 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken leg quarters on individual plates, divide the sauce among them, and serve immediately.  

 

Serves 4. Perfect over a bed of long grain white rice. Vary this dish by using morels in the springtime. 

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