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Chicken Jardinière

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2½ ounces lean pancetta, cut into lardons (strips about 1-inch long and ½-inch thick)
  • 1½ tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 whole chicken legs (about 2¾ pounds), left whole or drumsticks and thighs separated, ends of the drumsticks and skin removed
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup fruity dry white wine
  • ¾ cup water
  • 12 small red potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled
  • 8 small baby bella or cremini mushrooms (about 5 ounces), washed
  • 12 small pearl onions (about 4 ounces)
  • 1¼ cups diced (1-inch) carrots
  • 1½ tablespoons coarse chopped garlic
  • 1 fresh thyme branch
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Procedures:

Jardinière means "gardener" in French, and the vegetables change according to what is in season or in my garden. The stew is easy to put together, and it gets better every time you reheat it.

Sauté the lardons in the oil in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven (the pan should be wide enough to hold the chicken in a single layer) over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and sauté them, turning once, for about 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle with the flour, salt and pepper and move the chicken around to distribute the flour evenly. Cook for 1 minute, then add the wine and water and mix well.

Add the potatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots, garlic and thyme and mix well. Bring to a full boil, making sure that the stew is boiling throughout, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes. (The stew can be prepared ahead to this point and reheated to serve.)

At serving time, add the peas to the stew, bring to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes.

Transfer the stew to individual plates or a large platter, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

by Jacques Pépin, Poulets & Légumes

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