Warm and filling, this grandmothers' braised chicken casserole recipe is cooked the old-fashioned way: all the ingredients are simmered together in one pot. French cuisine is filled with comforting, cottage-style cooking, known as grand-mere recettes, or grandmother recipes. This simple braised chicken dish is both easy to prepare, and pleasing to many palates.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 6 servings
- 10 ounces lardons (thick bacon slices)
- 4 1/2 pound chicken, cleaned, trussed, and patted dry
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed, dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb pearl onions, peeled
- 2 1/2 lbs potatoes
- 1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped parsley
How to make grand-mere's chicken casserole:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Sauté the lardons in a large, ovenproof Dutch oven set over medium-high heat until they turn crisp. Transfer the cooked lardons to a plate and set them aside for later.
Pour off and discard all the fat except for 3 tablespoons, and return the Dutch oven to the medium-high heat. Season the chicken on all sides with the salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the reserved fat, one side at a time. Place the chicken right side up sprinkle the remaining herbs around the sides of the bird, and then loosely place the onions, potatoes, and mushrooms around the chicken.
Place the lid on the casserole dish and cook the ingredients over medium heat for 15 minutes. Transfer the Dutch oven to the preheated oven and cook at 350F for 20 minutes. Stir the vegetables gently, spoon a bit of the cooking liquid over the chicken, replace the lid and continue cooking the casserole, stirring the vegetables and spooning the juices, for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is fully cooked through.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and allow the ingredients to rest for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the whole chicken to a large, deep serving platter or a casserole dish. Add the reserved lardons to the vegetables and remove the bay leaf. Spoon the vegetables around the chicken, and pour any remaining sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle the whole dish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
This braised chicken casserole recipe makes 6 entree-size servings.
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