Braised Chicken in Porcini Wine Sauce over Buttered Pappardelle Noodles

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

3 (.5 ounce) packages of dried porcini mushrooms
1½ cups boiling water
1 package (8 pieces cut-up) chicken, bone-in, skin on
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus a pinch
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus a pinch
2 tablespoons flour, divided use
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock, hot
2 sprigs thyme, plus 1tablespoon thyme leaves, divided use
12 ounces (about 1 ½ packages) Pappardelle egg noodles
1 tablespoon cold butter, plus 2 tablespoons room temp, divided use

Preparation:

-Re-hydrate the porcini mushrooms by placing them into a bowl, and adding the 1 ½ cups boiling water; cover with plastic wrap, and allow them to soften a bit for about 15-20 minutes; once slightly softened, strain the mushrooms out of their soaking liquid, and reserve this liquid, or “mushroom stock” (there will be roughly 1cup), as well; set the mushrooms and the hot mushroom stock aside for a few moments.

-Season the chicken pieces with the ½ teaspoon sea salt, the paprika and the ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and sprinkle them evenly with 1tablespoon of the flour; next, heat a 4-quart cast-iron braiser, or large heavy-bottom pan, over medium-high heat; add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the braiser, and once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces in, skin-side down (work in batches to not over-crowd the braiser), and allow the chicken to sear and become golden-brown, about 4 minutes; then flip over and sear the bone side for about 2 minutes; remove the pieces, and set aside for a moment onto a clean plate; next, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallot into the braiser, and stir; add in the re-hydrated mushrooms, stir to combine, and sauté for a minute; next add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the wine, stirring to scrape up any yummy bits on the bottom of the pan; then add the chicken pieces back into the braiser or pan, along with the hot chicken stock, the reserved mushroom stock and two sprigs of thyme; allow this to come to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover, and braise/gently simmer the chicken until tender, for about 40 minutes.

-While the chicken braises, prepare the Pappardelle pasta according to package directions; when cooked, drain the pasta in a colander, and lightly toss with a little olive oil; keep it in the colander, lightly covered with a cloth to keep warm, until ready to serve.

-Once the chicken has simmered and is tender and cooked through, remove the chicken pieces from the braiser and place onto a clean plate to hold; mix together the 1tablespoon of cold butter with the remaining 1tablespoon of flour with your fingers until well combined, and add it to the sauce, whisking it in very well until melted and the sauce has slightly thickened; turn the heat off, and return the chicken back into the braiser or pan to keep warm.

-Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to it, and once melted, add the Pappardelle pasta to the butter, with the pinch of sea salt and black pepper, to lightly coat the pasta and warm through.

-To serve, add a portion of the buttered Pappardelle pasta to a shallow bowl or plate, top with a piece (or 2) of chicken, and spoon some of the porcini-wine sauce over the chicken and the pasta; garnish each serving with a small sprinkle of the fresh thyme leaves, and serve.