Okay, I'm not talking quicker like "open up some cans and put it on your 'tablescape' " kind of quick. It does take a lot less time to get that silken, falling off the bone quality of a good braised chicken when prepared in a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker, though I don't see why not, you can do this in a covered Dutch oven or a wide, heavy-bottomed casserole with a lid. This recipe makes a lotta sauce-a, so make some papardelle noodles or rice to soak it up.
Serves 4 to 6
8 to 10 pieces chicken
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons. dried thyme
¾ cup dried porcini,
rehydrated with 1 cup hot water until very soft
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
¾ cup tomato paste
1½ cups cognac or brandy
2 medium carrots, washed,
and sliced into thin coins
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups red wine
5 to 6 pieces bacon, chopped
2 cups combination of
button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons each: fresh
chervil, tarragon and chives OR
dried Fines Herbes
Liberally rub chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then the thyme. Let rest for
several minutes at room temperature. Puree the porcini with their liquid
and set them aside.
Over medium heat, melt butter in a medium to large-size pressure cooker.
When butter is foamy, lay chicken skin-down, with some room between each piece,
and cook on medium heat until golden brown. (Depending on the size of the pan
and chicken pieces, this may take 2 or three batches to complete). Turn and
repeat on other side.
Remove chicken from the pan
and set aside. To the pan, add the flour and tomato paste, whisking well. Allow
it to brown slightly, then add brandy or cognac. Bring to a simmer and reduce until slightly
thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add stock and wine. Place thigh and leg sections on the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a boil, then place the carrots over the thighs. Cover with lid, and
lock. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
Meanwhile, sauté bacon on
high heat until slightly crispy. Add mushrooms and sauté until brown. Set
After 30 minutes, remove the
cooker from heat. Release pressure, remove lid and add the sautéed mushroom and
bacon. Stir pureed porcini into sauce, return chicken to pan, scoop some sauce
over it and serve directly or transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with
fresh or dried herbs and serve.