Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chicken with a smoky Burgundy bacon sauce

So, it just so happened that we had a big Burgundy tasting at work today. I wasn't involved in this one, but fortunately I did get to benefit from the left overs. I bought home a bottle of Dujac's Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru aux Combottes, 2001. Lucky me. As so often is the case, my meal began with the wine rather than the food. What would I cook to set off the Burgundy? Nothing too complex, I wanted the wine to shine. It was important that the food did not overwhelm.
I got home late, so no time to hunt out anything particularly exciting in terms of ingredients. In other circumstances (and at other times of year), I might have gone for a game bird (!) of some description. Quail, pheasant. Nothing too strong. In the end I selected some good quality chicken breasts and made a delicious sauce to accompany. When I got home, I discovered that my potatoes were sprouting, so opted instead for sweet potato. It wasn't perfect and next time I'll go for normal mash.
2 chicken breasts
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
A large handful of mushrooms, sliced.
3 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 and a half large glasses of red Burgundy
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Herbs (see notes)
1. Pre-heat over to 200C
2. Heat oil in a pan and brown the chicken breasts on either side.
3. Transfer to baking tray, season, add herbs and half glass of wine. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes (dependent on size of chicken breasts - check that cooked through).
4. Meanwhile, in same frying pan, soften red onions with the garlic - 5 mins.
5. Add the smoked bacon and fry with onions for further 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and fry until soft.
6. Turn up heat and pour over 1 glass of wine. Add redcurrant jelly. Simmer and reduce by one third.
7. Taste and season the sauce.
8. Remove chicken from oven and spoon over the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes/gratin dauphinoise and green beans or broccoli.
Notes - I used a sprinkling of mixed dried herbs, but fresh thyme would be delicious - add with the wine to the roasting dish.
It is vital to use smoked bacon - the smokiness goes so well with the Burgundy wine.
When cooking with wine, always use wine that you would be happy to drink yourself. The food will only be as good as the wine you use. Do not on any account use out of condition wine/wine that has been sitting around for a week.

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