Fricasseed Chicken with Bay Leaves

January 23, 2007

(adapted from Marcella Cucina, by Marcella Hazan)

Serves 6

5-6 lb. chicken, skin on and cut into 10-12 pieces (halve breasts)
3 Tbls. butter, unsalted
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
3 Tbls. flat-leaf Italian parsley chopped
1/3 c. celery, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed lightly and peeled
5 bay leaves
Kosher or sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3/4 c. dry white wine

Wash the chicken pieces well in cold water. Pat thoroughly dry.

Choose a large sauté pan or skillet that the chicken pieces will all fit in and not overlap. Add butter and chopped onion, turn heat to medium high, and cook onion, stirring frequently, until it begins to caramelize.

Add chicken pieces to pan with skin facing down first. Brown pieces well on both sides. Add bay leaves, salt, and lots of ground pepper. Mix ingredients to meld flavors.

When chicken pieces have deeply browned on all sides, add wine. As the wine cooks away, use a wooden spoon to deglaze the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cover pan and turn leat to very low.

Continue cooking, turning pieces occasionally. If the pan’s juices begin to dry up, add 3-4 Tbls. water or chicken stock. Cook chicken until the meat easily pulls away from the bone, about 45-50 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Note: This dish can be made a day in advance and gently reheated on the stovetop (add a 1-2 Tbls. water or chicken stock, if needed).

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