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Provencal Braised Chicken

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #66 at 9:28 pm on Mar 19, 2007


(Adapted from "Classic Home Cooking" by Mary Berry and Marlene Speiler (a favorite cookbook, see note below). A chicken is simmered with red pepper, garlic, carrots, stock and herbs, all of which get blended with vinegar into an amazing sauce. Good homemade chicken stock, if you have the time, makes a big difference.)

1 cut-up chicken
Cayenne pepper
Herbs de Provence (or a combination of thyme, rosemary and oregano)
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, peele and diced
6 parsley sprigs
1-1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. tomato paste
Chopped parsley (to garnish)

Preheat over to 375*

Season the chicken generously with salt, ceyenne and herbs de Provence. Place skin-side-up in a skillet, interspersed with the garlic, red pepper and carrot. Tuck in the parsley sprigs and pour on stock to almost cover the chicken.

Cover the skillet and braise in the oven until chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Don't overcook! (The breasts may be done sooner than the rest.)

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Place the skillet on the stove, off center, and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes, skimming most of the fat that collects to one side. Remove the parsley, puree the skillet's contents in a blender and return to the skillet (or use a stick blender). Continue to reduce sauce until thickened.

Meanwhile, reduce the vinegar in another saucepan to 3 Tbs.

Add the reduced vinegar and tomato paste to the sauce and correct seasoning. Reduce further if necessary. Return the chicken to the pan to reheat gently. Serve on a platter, sprinkled with chopped parsley

(This is great to make ahead: chill the chicken while you finish the sauce. Cool the sauce over ice until almost gelled, pour over the chicken and refrigerate. It will keep several days.)

NOTE: the original recipe is for a whole chicken. Only half the garlic is peeled: the parsley and the unpeeled garlic go into the cavity, and the chicken is seasoned and braised in a covered casserole, with the garlic and other vegetables, and stock to come halfway up the bird, for about 1-1/2 hours. By then, the vegetables are very tender and are ready for the blender. It makes a nice presentation to carve at the table.

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