This dish is cooked completely on the stove top and is mild enough for fussy eaters and is surprisingly quick to put together.
It is said that the ancient Romans created this dish to demonstrate their superior sophistication to the Gauls, whose French descendants have since claimed it as their own - wonder what the French think about that!
Cooking time 1 hour 20 mins - Serves 8
(as I was only feeding 4 I divided this in half)
This can be marinated overnight, thereby saving you a little bit of time when you come to cook.
2 x 1.6kg chickens
750ml (1 bottle) red wine
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
250g bacon diced
20 pickling or small pearl onions or shallots
250g button mushrooms
1 teaspoon oil
30g plain flour
1 litre chicken stock
2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon plain flour.
Chop chicken into 8 pieces each - removing the back bone (or buy chicken already jointed)
Put wine, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper in and bowl and add chicken pieces. Cover and leave to marinate, preferably overnight.
Saute bacon in a pan until golden and set aside.
Melt a quarter of the butter in the pan, add the onions and saute until browned - set aside.
Melt another quarter of the butter, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5mins - set aside with the bacon and onions.
Drain the chicken - keep the marinade, pat dry the meat.
Season. Add remaining butter and oil to the pan and cook the chicken until golden.
Stir in the flour.
Transfer chicken to a large saucepan or casserole dish.
In the pan bring stock and brandy to the boil, stirring, for 30 seconds to deglaze the pan and pour over chicken.
Add everything else, marinade, onions, mushrooms, bacon and tomato paste.
Cook over a moderate heat for 45mins or until chicken is cooked.
If the sauce is too runny lift out the chicken and veg, bring sauce to the boil and whisk in extra butter and flour cook for 2 mins and then return the chicken and veg to the sauce.
This smelt delicious cooking and equally so when it was dished up at the table.