Serves 6 Total time 1 ½ hours
A medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir or Rhone Valley Grenache is best for this recipe. If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into ½ inch pieces. Do not use jarred pearl onions.
2 bottles Pinot Noir (one for recipe and one to drink with dinner)
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (not broth)
10 sprigs fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
5 slices bacon, thick cut, cut crosswise into 1 / 4 inch pieces
2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut in half crosswise.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 frozen pearl onions, thawed, drained and patted dry (see note above)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean – sliced thickly
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Bring all but 1 tablespoon wine (reserved for later use), stock, parsley sprigs, thyme and bay leaf to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in small bowl; discard remaining fat.
Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat in Dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking. Add half the chicken in single layer and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfter to plate and repeat with remaining chicken and 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium high heat. When foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring frequently, until well combined, about 1 minute.
Add reduced wine mixture, scraping bottom of pot with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; add 1 / 4 teaspoon pepper. Return chicken, any accumulated juices and reserved bacon to pot; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover pot and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium high and simmer sauce until thick and glossy and measures 3 cups, about 5 minutes.
Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return chicken to pot and top with minced parsley.
Serve immediately with mashed potatoes or wide noodles and a green vegetable.
NOTE: Several parts of this recipe can be completed ahead of time. For example, the wine reduction and the bacon. Be sure to heat these items before proceeding with the recipe.