½ pound bacon, chopped into ½” pieces

3 ½ – 4 pounds chicken parts (I used leg/thighs, but any cuts will do)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

12 thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen string (plus more for garnish)

8 ounces cremini mushrooms

1/3 cup brandy or cognac

1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste

1 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1 ½-2” pieces

2 ½ cups red wine

½-1 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons flour

½ cup water

1, 14 ounce bag frozen pearl onions

2 tablespoon parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven (6-8 quarts) over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until crisp. Remove and set aside.

Season the chicken parts on both sides with the salt and pepper.  Place them in the pan drippings from the bacon and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes until the skin is browned and crispy.  Remove and set aside with the bacon.  You may have to do this in 2 batches, so you don’t crowd the chicken and get a good sear.  Note – the chicken will not be cooked through.

Add the chopped onions, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the cognac and tomato paste to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring, until the tomato paste is dissolves and most of the moisture is absorbed.  Add the carrots and stir to combine.

Add the chicken back to the pan, nestled into the veggies.  Pour the wine into the pan and as much of the chicken stock as needed to come ¾ of the way up the chicken and veggies.  Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the pot and add the pearl onions, gently stirring them into the sauce around the chicken.  Place the pot back in the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.

Place the pan on the stove over medium high heat and remove the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside. Combine the flour and water in a jar and shake until smooth (this is called a slurry).  Add the slurry to pot and bring the sauce to a boil.  Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.  Add the chicken parts back to the pot and bring them back up to heat.

Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta… refuse the urge to drink the gravy if you can!!  Garnish with thyme sprigs and chopped parsley.

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