15 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thirds
1/4 cup flour
Salt & Pepper
8 slices of applewood-smoked bacon, roughly chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
6 to 8 garlic cloves, crushed
28 oz. white pearl onions, peeled (see note)
36 oz. button mushrooms, halved
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cups dry red wine
6-8 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. cornstarch
Approx. 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
Note: You can use frozen pearl onions to save time. Make sure you thaw before adding to the mixture.
Preheat oven to 300˚F.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Dredge lightly in flour. Set aside. In large Dutch oven, cook diced bacon over medium heat on stovetop until browned. Remove bacon with slotted spoon. Add half of the olive oil to Dutch oven. When oil is hot, add the crushed garlic and onions. Sauté gently, lowering heat if necessary, until slightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally so the onion and garlic do not burn. Remove from the pan with slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan and add mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms and set aside with onion mixture.
Add unsalted butter to the hot oiled pan. In batches, sauté the chicken for approximately 1 minute per side until it is lightly browned. Lower heat if chicken seems to be browning too quickly. Add the red wine to the pan and turn flame to high. Cook down for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste and thyme and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
In small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 3 tbsp. of water. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into broth/wine mixture until blended and slightly thickened. Return the chicken, bacon, onions, garlic and mushrooms to Dutch oven and stir. Place cover on pan and place in hot oven. Cook slowly for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
If you are preparing this meal the day before, let cool completely before moving to the refrigerator for storage overnight. If reheating it from the previous day, just preheat oven to 300˚F and heat slowly, stirring occasionally for up to 2 hours.
Garnish with more thyme and chopped parsley and serve alongside rice, orzo or mashed potatoes. Add warm hearty bread and a big salad and you will have a delicious meal that can be laid out as a beautiful buffet.