Susie is a dear friend of the family and the Wonder Woman behind Susie's Potatoes, as well as the inspiration behind the Beef & Guinness Pie (which I JUST threw out last night - I have 'Outdoor Fridge Leftover Food Denial,' terrible disease). On Facebook, I read about the Sunday night meals she cooks and I curse all the states that live between California and Connecticut that make it so hard for me to go to her house for dinner.
The latest - a French Chicken, cooked in a Dutch Oven, with very few ingredients, a "beautiful, bubbling, brown sauce," she describes, "that needs nothing but a ladle to pour over the succulent chicken." I had to make. I did. It was ridiculous. Ridiculous!! So much flavor, succulent chicken, crisp, bacon-wrapped skin, insanity. Next time, I will brown my skin more and I will use bacon instead of pancetta (all I had in the house). See below...
Susie's French Chicken
1 3-4 lb. chicken
1 and ½ T olive oil
2 large shallots or ½ onion, diced
1 diced celery rib
3-4 pieces of bacon (more if the chicken is bigger)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice the celery and shallots (or onion).
Make sure your chicken is very dry, and season it well with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium or medium-high heat. Place chicken in pot, breast-side down, and let brown for 5 or so minutes (mine needed longer, next time). Add celery and shallots on top.
Flip chicken over and continue to brown for 8 or so minutes.
Cover with tin foil and then with lid and place in oven. Cook for an hour. Remove after an hour and turn heat up to 450. Drape bacon (I used pancetta) over chicken and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Flip bacon over and cook for another 10 minutes. (Sorry no pics of this, I blame the toddler's demanding attention). Place chicken on platter.
My pancetta sort of crumbled off into the sauce, not the worst thing that could have happened...
Beautiful, brown, bubbling sauce over succulent chicken... I can't stop saying that. Thank you Susie, once again!