- 1.8 kg free-range chicken, jointed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 t red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup Port
- 1 T butter
- 20 baby onions or shallots, peeled
- 20 button mushrooms
- 2 cups good-quality chicken stock
- 1 t flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Mashed potato, for serving
- Braised baby carrots, for serving
- 100 g pancetta, cut into lardons
- For the marinade:
- 3 cups full-bodied, good-quality red wine
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
To make the marinade, place all the ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the liquid has reduced by half. Allow to cool.
Place the chicken pieces and pancetta in a large bowl and pour over the marinade. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover and marinate overnight.
Strain off the marinade and set aside. Set aside the pancetta and discard the vegetables and herbs. Dry the chicken pieces using kitchen paper. Lightly season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and drain.
Place the chicken pieces into a stovetop casserole dish. Add the pancetta to the frying pan and sauté until golden brown.
Remove the pancetta from the pan, drain and reserve. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, brandy, Port and reserved marinade. Reduce by two thirds and pour over the chicken.
Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and, when foaming, add the baby onions or shallots. Cook until golden brown, season and strain. Add the onions to the casserole dish.
Sauté the button mushrooms in the pan and season. When browned, drain and reserve.
Pour in the chicken stock over the chicken and bring to the boil in the casserole dish. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through, skimming frequently to remove any impurities that float to the surface.
Remove the chicken, pancetta, baby onions and mushrooms from the stock and pass the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Bring to the boil and reduce until syrupy.
When ready to serve, return the chicken pieces to the sauce and add the pancetta, mushrooms and chopped parsley. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Divide between warm serving plates. Serve with mashed potato and braised baby carrots.
Cook’s note: Use veal or brown chicken stock (made by roasting the bones rather than simmering them) to achieve a deeper colour.