1whole chickenabout 4 to 5 pounds, cut into pieces
freshly ground black pepper
16ounceswhite button mushroomsor your favorite variety, sliced
1large shallotfinely diced
10ouncespearl onionspeeled (see Notes)
2tablespoonsall purpose flour
1bottle dry white wine
1/2cupchicken or vegetable broth
5 to 6sprigs fresh thyme
5 to 6sprigs fresh parsley
In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the pancetta bits until golden and a bit crisp. Remove them, using a slotted spoon and set them aside on a small dish.
Add a bit of olive oil to the pot. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown them on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, in small batches. Put the pieces aside in a large dish as you work.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Add the mushrooms to the pot, continuing on medium high heat. If you need to, add just a smidgen of oil. Brown the mushrooms until they are a deep golden brown. This will give your dish great flavor. They will release some water during the process, but keep them going and do not add any salt at this stage. They'll begin to dry up and get brown and delicious. Once they are, add the shallot, pearl onions, celery and carrot. Continue cooking until the shallots soften. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute. Add the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables.
Pour in the bottle of wine. Bring the wine to a light simmer and add the chicken broth, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and about 4 sprigs of the parsley along with the pancetta and chicken.
Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Sprinkle the remaining leaves of parsley over the top and serve with mashed or smashed potatoes.
You can save some money by buying a whole chicken and cutting it up yourself. I like to do that, but in a pinch, you can certainly find one already cut.Fresh pearl onions are a bit time consuming to peel yourself, so feel free to use the frozen ones. Just give them a thaw in a sieve before using. A trick to peeling the fresh onions yourself, is to drop them into a pot of boiling water for just about thirty seconds. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and the peels will pop off much easier.
Recipe by, Caroline Hurley, Taste Love and Nourish, www.tasteloveandnourish.com