A Southern chef’s riff on classic coq au vin, this recipe relies on Madeira in place of traditional red wine—and a few other refinements.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC We Pledge Allegiance Note
After sampling this Southern dish, we just may have to switch our allegiance from France to Frank—Frank Stitt, that is.
Chicken with Autumn Vegetables and Madeira
- One (3- to 4-pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces
- Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions diced
- 3 medium carrots sliced 1/2-inch (12-mm) thick
- 1 cup medium-dry Madeira
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 recipe Autumn Root Vegetable Purée (optional)
- 1 recipe Autumn Vegetable Ragout (optional)
- 2 thin slices country ham cut into julienne strips
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chicken, working in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan, and sear the pieces on all sides until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a casserole or baking dish.
- Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the Madeira and white wine, bring to a boil, and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 of the original volume.
- Add the stock, thyme, and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a simmer. Pour the simmering stock mixture over the chicken. Cover the pan with parchment paper cut to fit, then cover the pan with a lid or tightly secure with a piece of aluminum foil. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes for the white meat and 45 to 55 minutes for the dark meat. Remove the pieces as they are done and transfer them to a plate.
- Strain the braising liquid into a large saucepan, discarding the solids. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and skim the fat as it rises to the surface. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small chunks and add them to the pan, 1 or 2 at a time, tilting the pan and swirling until the butter melts into the sauce before adding the next piece. Add the chicken to the pan, turning the pieces once to coat them with the liquid, and cook just long enough to heat them through.
- Spoon the Autumn Root Vegetable Purée, if using, onto individual plates. Arrange the chicken next to the purée and then spoon the Autumn Vegetable Ragout, if using, alongside. Garnish with the country ham.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Chicken with Autumn Vegetables and Madeira reinforces why I love cooking fall dishes in the kitchen! This was a delicious dish for a weeknight and dressy enough for company. The sauce was slightly sweet with the Madeira and full of flavor from the braise. I served it with garlic mashed potatoes to soak up all the wonderful sauce. I’ll tuck this recipe in my “go-to” file.
I really enjoy fall and all the special produce that comes with it. My son picked this recipe as one he’d like to try. The chicken was tender and flavorful. The pan sauce was lick-your-plate good. Time constraints didn’t allowed me to make the Autumn Root Vegetable Puree but I did make the Autumn Vegetable Ragout. The subtle flavor of the ragout complemented the chicken nicely. All in all a great dish for weekend cooking.
This is one of those recipes that, once made, becomes a standby go-to recipe. The resulting dish has the rich taste of Madeira that adds that extra spark to the chicken. The onion and carrot combination is that blanket that everything rests on, so I couldn’t just toss them after straining out the braising liquid. I put them on the bottom of the serving bowl and let everyone scoop some up if they wanted to. And everyone did. And they went back for more! Having said that, I’ll add that there are some steps that could be combined and I don’t think it’ll have any great disastrous outcome: why set the chicken on a rack over a pan and then just put it into the casserole dish? I’d put it directly into the casserole dish. There isn’t a crispness issue at play here. I’m also not sure about why the sheet of parchment is necessary, but I’m certain someone could tell me. Next time, I’m either using parchment or a lid but not both just to see if it has an effect. The second time it calls for that rack and pan I’m still not sure about the necessity—I’d think you could set the chicken pieces on a plate or pan alone, but that is a personal choice. I couldn’t make the fat rise to the cooler side of my pan, so I’m looking to see how that worked for anyone else. Otherwise, just heat and reduce and skim any visible fat off the top before adding the butter.
Originally published November 01, 2012