Everybody Eats Well in Belgium

I discovered a braised chicken recipe in this cookbook (see below) that even picky Toddler S likes. And with recipes like this (I love stews this time of year, especially today, a cool grey day here in NYC) I’ve been putting my new Le Creuset Oven to good use. Although this calls for thyme and a bay leaf, feel free to use any fresh herbs you have, such as basil, rosemary or sage. Serve with potatoes of your liking along with a salad, and a crisp white wine.

Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook

Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 pounds of chicken pieces rinsed and patted dry, all visible fat removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and halved or left whole if very small
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2 ripe large beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped; or 1 1/2 cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Make the chicken
Heat the oil in a large enameled Dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the chicken parts, without crowding, until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Do this in 2 batches if necessary. Remove the browned chicken to a platter and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons fat from the Dutch oven. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, over high heat until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and continue to cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and stir, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken pieces and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Cover the Dutch oven and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat. Then cook, partially covered, until the chicken is very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. The sauce will have reduced somewhat and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.