There are many days when all I want to do is throw together a stir fry and eat something light and tasty but there are other days when I feel like settling into the kitchen and putting time and effort into preparing something a bit more complicated. This was one of those occasions.
Some people are a bit funny about eating meat on the bone, but if you’re one of them, just make this in advance, and give yourself time to pull the meat off the bones. Often it’s easiest to do that when it’s stone cold, and you can use your fingers instead of a knife.
1 packet of smoked bacon lardons or about 3 thick slices of pancetta, cubed
2 cloves garlic
Around 8 chicken thighs and legs
Around 12 button mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms
Salt and pepper
1 beef stock pot
3/4 bottle drinkable red wine
A few sprigs of fresh parsley and rosemary
2 tbsp plain flour
- Trim off any of the excess fat on the bacon lardons that you don’t like the look of, then add them into a large stock pot or casserole on a low heat to let the fat render a little, then turn up to brown. Remove the bacon from the pot when it’s looking tasty.
2. If there’s alot of fat still kicking about in the pot, carefully use a piece of kitchen towel to mop up the excess. With the heat still on high, add 4 of the chicken pieces to the pot, skin side down to start with, and brown on both sides. 3. When golden, set aside on a plate to cool. Add the remaining 4 chicken pieces and brown on both sides. Set those aside.
4. Next, it’s time to prepare the vegetables. Skin and half the shallots and add them into the pot, turning the heat down to medium.
You should be able to do some of the vegetable chopping while the bacon and chicken are browning.
8. Then add back the bacon and chicken, pour in the wine and dissolve the beef stock pot in the pot. The meat and veg should be nicely covered by the liquid. Season and add the fresh herbs. Now leave the whole thing to simmer for around half 20 minutes, with the lid on.
9. After 20 minutes, add the smaller mushrooms whole and halve or quarter any larger ones. Put the lid back on and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. 10, when it’s just about ready, the sauce should have turned from red to brown and the meat should be starting to fall away from the bones, but your sauce will still be quite thin. To thicken it, simply put the flour into a mug, cover with cold water and mix into a paste. Add to the pot, stirring constantly until it comes through the boil. Cook out for a few more minutes to get rid of any floury textures.