The lovely flavor of dry vermouth is created by infusing wine with aromatic herbs, spices, barks and peels, then allowed to mature. Originally added for medicinal purposes, these extra flavorings make it an ideal cooking wine, particularly for fish and fowl. This is an impressive dish, light in seasonings but rich in flavor. I like to serve the chicken with cooked basil-flavored pasta mixed directly into the sauce, so all the flavors get absorbed. Or, you may wish to serve it with Cheese Crusted Potatoes and a simple green salad.
To peel the pearl onions, bring a small pan of water to a boil. Cut a small x in the bottom of each onion. Blanch the onions for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water. Trim off the stems. The skins should slip off easily. Set the onions aside.
Mix the flour with the salt and white pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off excess.
In a large flameproof casserole, heat the olive oils over medium heat. Add the pearl onions, celery, carrots and sugar. Cook slowly until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook an additional minute.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Brown the bacon, then remove from the pan and set aside with the vegetables. Add the canola oil to the pan with the bacon drippings and heat over a medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken on all sides, about 6 minutes.
Return the vegetables and bacon bits to the pan with the chicken. Crush in the tarragon and thyme and pour in the vermouth. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the chives.
Cook 1/2 pound of pasta, such as fusilli or penne, until al dente. Drain and, when the chicken has finished cooking, stir the pasta into the pot and mix thoroughly with the sauce. Serve the chicken pieces on a bed of pasta and sauce.
©1994, Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007
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