French Bistro Chicken
To my palate, this recipe embodies the essence of good, simple, and comforting French bistro fare. The whole shallots and artichoke hearts impart a mildness that reminds me of a gentle spring day.
Makes6 to 8 servings
Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Textureherby, meaty, savory
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 chickens, 3 to 3½ pounds each, cut into serving pieces
- 1 pound shallots, peeled
- 2/3 cup dry white vermouth
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken pieces in batches, starting skin side down and turning, until nicely browned all over. Transfer the chicken to a large baking pan and arrange the pieces in a single layer.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add the shallots and sauté until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the vermouth and lemon juice; cook, stir to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Add the artichoke hearts and toss to combine. Pour this mixture around the browned chicken pieces.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. Pour the accumulated juices from the chicken into a small saucepan. Add the chicken broth and boil until reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve at once.
1990 Sarah Leah Chase