This isn’t the quickest dish to make but there are few things that can beat it on a cool Autumn evening. This is not quite peasant food but historically would have been used by hunters to cook older or tougher birds, simmering to soften it up essentially. The recipe I found was for chicken legs but we tend to use breasts or thighs. The thickening of the sauce at the end is what turns this dish from comfort food to classy cuisine!
Olive oil – glug
Chicken (I used 4 small breasts)
Onion, finely sliced or chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely sliced
200g mushrooms (button mushrooms are best but otherwise quartered)
500ml red wine
1 tbsp tomato purée
Vegetable stock cube or bouillon powder
Thyme leaves (at least 2 tbsp)
Melt half the butter in a pan with the oil, when hot brown the chicken on both sides. Remove chicken, put on a plate and keep warm.
Add the rest of the butter and fry the onions until softened, at least 5 minutes, then throw in the garlic – continue frying for a minute or so before also adding the mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook until mushrooms start to change colour and also soften. Pour in the wine, add the stock cube and tomato purée and stir until all mixed together, simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and any juices back to the pan along with the thyme. Simmer on a low heat for an hour.
Remove the chicken, turn up the heat and boil for 10 minutes or so until you have a glossy thick sauce, add the chicken back in, stir until coated and then serve with creamy mash and vegetables. As both my small person and her friends were hungry at this point, I failed to take any photos. The 10 year old had great fun helping me prepare and get this ready, just watch them stirring anything hot! I have discovered he is a potato mashing ace though and he has challenged me to cook spatzle and schnitzel next time I look after them. Watch this space!