CSM Merlot-Braised Chicken Legs
& Crimini Mushrooms
8 each free-range chicken, legs & thighs
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices thick cut pepper bacon, diced
2 small onions, diced
2 small carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 bottle Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium canned is fine
16 crimini mushrooms, quartered
2 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
Roux, recipe follows
Season chicken with salt & pepper. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat; brown chicken on all sides, a few pieces at a time. Note: don't crowd the pan, or the chicken won't brown properly. Transfer chicken to plate; set aside. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to stove and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in bacon; cook until crisp. Stir in onion, carrot and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, sauté 1 minute, until it turns a shade darker. Increase heat to high and carefully pour in Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot and stock; stir to release the delicious brown bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; return chicken to pan with mushrooms, bay and thyme. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook about 1 hour, until chicken is very tender.
Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside. Skim fat from the top of sauce, if necessary. Increase heat to medium and whisk in roux; bring to a slow boil. Cook until liquid thickens to desired consistency and flour taste is cooked out, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Return chicken to pan.
Note: Braised dishes can be prepared 1 to 2 days ahead, in fact, some say they are more flavorful when the flavors have time to mingle. Be sure to reheat slowly until heated through.
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
Melt butter in small pan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; continue to cook until raw flour taste is cooked out, about 6 minutes.