Braised food

A creamy wine-braised chicken recipe to simply celebrate

With the seemingly endless supply of convenient weeknight chicken recipes, it can be easy to forget that in the past, chicken was considered a delicacy.

As I leafed through my copy of the “Escoffier Cookbook”, I was struck by the opulence attached to the bird. It has featured in dozens of recipes, coated in puff pastry, topped with cream, topped with aged ham leaves, stuffed with truffle, drizzled with Madeira. There was no plate dinner in sight.

And all of these recipes gave me exactly the inspiration I needed to create a creamy wine-braised chicken dish that’s luxurious enough for a holiday meal, but not much more complicated than I would on a given Tuesday. .

The first thing is to find really good chicken. If you can get it at a farmers market, even better. Otherwise, look for air-chilled, antibiotic-free and preferably organic chicken at the supermarket. It will be more expensive than a standard bird, but eating chicken is even less of a folly than buying a lot of other classic, meaty vacation options.

Then there are the mushrooms in the recipe, which can be as extravagant as you want. Creminis, shiitakes and white buttons will work perfectly, but if you give it your all, specialty mushrooms like king, hen of the woods and chanterelles add an even more intense flavor. Or use a combination: a few earthy black trumpets will go far in the pot.

You will also need some wine for the sauce. The wisdom of communal cooking dictates that you add a touch of the bottle you plan to drink at dinner. But I usually use the wine that’s left over from dinner the night before or two. Once sealed and stored in the fridge, leftover wine is great for cooking and you can use any (dry) variety for this adaptable ember. It means white, red, rosé, or even a sparkling or orange wine, if that’s what you have.

Like all embers, this one gets better after sitting all night. Prepare it until the moment you incorporate the crème fraîche, then place it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Heat it over low heat on the stovetop or in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Then add the crème fraîche and the garnishes.