full-bodied red wine, such as Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir)
extra-virgin olive oil
chicken, cut into 8 pieces or just use thighs and legs
salt and freshly ground pepper
bouquet garni, made with 5 parsley sprigs, 1 large thyme sprig and 1 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth
slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
small white mushrooms, quartered
In a large skillet, bring the wine to a boil over high heat. Woody's Way: : you're trying to burn off some of the alcohol so simply reduce it for a minute or two on high boil. Remove the skillet from the heat, turn your exhaust fan to high and being careful, use a long match or fireplace lighter and try to ignite the wine at the edge of the pan. If it doesn’t light continue reducing and try again. When the flames subside, whisk in the tomato paste.
In another large skillet heat a tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over, about 12 minutes; transfer to a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Repeat with the remaining Tlbs of olive oil and the rest of the chicken pieces.
Pour off all but 3 Tlbs of the fat in the skillet and whisk in the flour; cook over moderate heat, whisking occasionally, until chestnut colored, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and wine and whisk while bring to a boil. Pour the liquid over the chicken in the casserole. Tuck in the bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes for the breasts and 35 minutes for the drumsticks, thighs and wings. Transfer the chicken to a large platter as it is done; cover loosely with foil and keep warm.
Set half of the casserole over the heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Skim the fat from the side that isn't boiling and continue to boil until the sauce is reduced to about 2 cups and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in the skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate or cookie sheet. Pour the bacon fat into a heat proof cup and wipe out the skillet. Add 1 Tlbs of the bacon fat to the skillet along with the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened and golden, about 7 minutes. Scatter the bacon and mushrooms over the chicken and serve right away, passing the sauce separately.
Serve with steamed potatoes or egg noodles
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