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Author Notes: This is my version of my mom's roast chicken. We called it "Mirepoix Chicken" when we were kids, because mom would roast the bird over a bed of aromatics (onions, celery, carrots) and create a tasty sauce by blending them with the chicken juices and some stock. I used to think of it as "orange gravy" due to its carroty hue. We'd eat it with white rice. Because I cook mostly for myself these days and am profoundly lazy, I don't bother with a whole roaster in my version, opting for skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs instead. Alternatively, you could use an equivalent amount of various chicken parts (legs, wings, etc.), though that might affect the cooking time. I also add more aromatics, so it can't truly be called "Mirepoix Chicken" anymore, hence its new mother-derived moniker. NOTE: I give approximate amounts of carrots and celery because the amount you use depends on how much the onion yields. I like to lay the chopped onion on a plate so that it covers half of it, then chop enough carrots and celery to take up a quarter of the plate each, like a pie chart. —Bogre
- 2-3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or an equivalent amount of chicken parts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped into similar-sized pieces as the onion
- 2-3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into similar-sized pieces as the onion and carrots
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (like the onion, carrots, and celery)
- 1 leek, white and light-green parts only, well-washed, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs, including thyme, or Penzey's Bouquet Garni (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysbouquet.html)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock (have some extra on hand just in case)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 325 F. Trim chicken of excess skin. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. If not at room temperature, set aside while you do the rest of your prep.
- When chicken is room temperature, place a large, oven-safe skillet or casserole over medium-high heat and add a little oil. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and brown, then turn and brown on the other side. (If using a nonstick pan, skip the oil and place the chicken directly in the pan, skin-side down.)
- When chicken is browned, remove to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside. Discard the chicken fat remaining in the pan, or reserve for another use. Add the oil and butter to the pan, lower the heat to medium, add the veggies and herbs, some salt and pepper, and sweat about five minutes until they begin to get tender and translucent. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until mostly evaporated. Nestle the chicken pieces and any accumulated juices among the veggies and pour the broth over. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until the chicken is falling-off-the-bone tender, checking occasionally to make sure there is an adequate amount of liquid in the pan.
- When the chicken in done, remove the pan from the oven. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, puree the aromatics and accumulated liquids in batches in a blender or food processor, or directly in the pan using an immersion blender. Set the pan over a medium-low flame and cook until reduced and thickened, 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken pieces, and hand-shred the meat. Serve over rice, with a sprinkling of parsley, or with mashed celery root or potatoes with the sauce spooned over. Or, return the chicken to the sauce and then toss with noodles. (Bear in mind you'll probably have extra sauce.)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Carrot Recipe