This is a very flavorful stew because the chicken liver gives it depth. Be sure to saute the chicken pieces over medium-high heat. This will render as much fat as possible from the skin, which is then discarded. The chicken breasts need to be halved in order to provide uniform pieces for cooking. Serve this dish with mashed potatoes.—Christopher Kimball
2 slices thick-cut bacon, minced
1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (each breast should be cut in half) with liver reserved and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, sliced into thin rounds
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup white wine
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1. Heat a large, heavy Dutch oven (cast-iron preferred) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bacon bits and cook until brown and crisp, stirring frequently. Drain the bacon bits on paper towels and reserve. Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Add the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, and cook until deeply browned on all sides. (Use lots of heat and render as much of the fat from the skin as possible.) Remove and reserve the chicken.
2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onion and chicken liver and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken and bacon pieces back to the skillet. Add the tomato paste and 1/3 cup of the wine and stir to coat the chicken. Add the remaining 1/3 cup wine and the chicken stock and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) measured on an instant-read thermometer.
3. Add the sage and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the chicken to a bowl and cover to keep warm. (At this point, you can degrease the sauce if you like by straining it into a fat separator or by letting it sit for a few minutes in a glass measuring cup and spooning off the fat that rises to the top.)
4. Simmer the sauce another 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove the skin from the chicken and then add the pieces back to the pot; heat through and serve at once.
Recipe © 2003 Christopher Kimball. All rights reserved.