Braised Chicken with Zinfandel
3/4 cup boiling chicken stock
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 3 lb. chicken, cut up into 8 pieces
salt and coarse ground pepper
2-3oz pancetta, chopped
1 Tbs chopped garlic
1 Tbs chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup zinfandel
Take boiling chicken broth off stove.
Add mushrooms, cover and steep for 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms and chop, saving broth.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
In large pot, heat olive oil, then sear chicken till brown on both sides.
Remove chicken and cook pancetta in pot until crisp, about a minute.
Add garlic and sage, stir and cook for another minute.
Add wine, scraping browned bits off bottom while stirring.
Stir in porcini liquid and return chicken to pan. Add additional liquid totaling 14.5 oz.
Cover and simmer, checking occasionally, at least half an hour.
Pairs Well With
In stressful times my first instinct is to make a big pot of something and invite people over. Somehow taking care of a basic need and inviting people to share in a communal experience makes life seem less out of control. Last night they announced the WGA strike and I got out the stew pot and braised a whole chicken. The dinner was a huge hit and there was nothing left.
I found this in a Williams Sonoma catalog and altered the directions slightly to fit my own needs. For example, turns out you don't need the $29 jar of Chicken Demi-Glace, chicken broth seems to work fine.
Also, WS suggested searing on each side for 8 minutes, then cooking for only about 15. I prefer to sear for just a few minutes, then simmer until the chicken falls off the bone.
Lastly, WS used a 14.5 oz can of tomato puree. I'm allergic to tomatoes, so I omitted this and used extra wine, chicken broth, and mushroom broth to make up for the extra liquid.
I recommend serving over mushroom risotto.