• Campbell Whitman

Slow-Roasted Chicken with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce

Updated: Sep 28

This chicken is tender and falls easily off the bone and the sauce if packed full of French flavors that it brings nothing but a smile to my face. If you hate mushrooms (I did until I was about 21, the smell alone made me nauseous) I'm sorry. They're incredible! But maybe your tastebuds can still change like mine did....positive thinking everyone!

Slow-Roasted Chicken with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce

serves 6

Chicken

6 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick still connected) - paper towel dried, seasoned with s&p

4-6 T butter

1 bunch thyme

8 whole, smashed garlic cloves

Burgundy Mushroom Sauce

2 1/2 T butter

1 T extra virgin olive oil

4-5 T added extra virgin olive oil for frying the mushrooms in small batches

150 g julienned onions

250 g button mushrooms- thinly sliced 1/4 of an inch (1/2 cm) maximum

100 ml burgundy red wine (Pinot Noir from France)

100 ml heavy whipping cream

1/2 t chopped garlic

1 1/2 t freshly chopped thyme

s&p


Begin by turning your oven on to 300 F or 150 C. Pat the whole chicken legs dry with a paper towel. If you want the end result of the chicken to look fancier, then you will need to CAREFULLY use a bread knife to cut through the bone at the top of the drumstick, just before the round joint. If not, no big deal.


Place the chicken legs and thighs whole on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Season both sides of the chicken well. Lay them on the sheet pan with some space between them. Add the pads of butter around the chicken. Throw in the whole garlic cloves and a bunch of thyme around the chicken, not on top. Tightly cover with more aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Then after the time is up, turn the oven up to 220 C or 430 F, remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes to help crisp up the skin a little. You want the liquid in the bottom of the sheet pan to not dry out completely.

To start this sauce, begin by adding the 1 1/2 T butter and 1 T olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat that has a good sealing lid. Add the onions, a dash of s&p and cover with the lid. Cook for a couple of minutes and when opening the lid, always let the water fall back into the pan to keep it hydrated, therefore less likely to burn. You want to now cook this on low for up to 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. You will get a nice caramelization on the onions this way. Every time you open the lid to stir, let the water fall back into the pan, cover and repeat. If your pan is not thick-bottomed, or doesn't have a good seal, they might dry out and/or burn. If necessary, you can add a little liquid.


Caramelize to a medium-light golden brown. You do not need to go to the full dark brown caramelization. Once finished, remove to a bowl and set aside. Add 1 T oil to the pan and turn it back up to a medium to medium-high heat to brown the mushrooms. Two big rules here, are never salt the mushrooms until they have browned AND, try to keep the mushrooms apart from each other as best as possible while sautéing. If they are too close or too many in the pan at a time, they will not brown, but "stew" which will make the mushrooms get chewy. You want to cook them in a couple of batches at a time adding a T of oil for each new batch. Once each batch is finished, then add them to the onion plate off the heat. While cooking the mushrooms in their batches, ONLY add some pepper and then flip them when they have turned brown. You will need to turn on your fan, as it can get a bit smokey. Repeat this in batches until all the mushrooms are cooked. Then add all of the onions & mushrooms back in the pan and add the garlic, thyme & finally, the salt. Stir.


Make sure the chicken is done before you finish the sauce. With the mushroom pan back up to high (if it was turned lower or off). Stir continuously until it is hot and sizzling. Carefully, add the wine. Let it reduce by half, stirring often. Then, lower your fire to medium or medium-high and add the cream. Stir well. Cover and let it bubble away for about 1 minute. Then remove the lid and let it cook until the cream is reduced a little bit more, leaving a nice thick cream amongst the mushrooms. Check for seasonings, add the last T of butter and move around until melted through the sauce, then finally spoon atop the chicken and serve..


Tip: The foundational flavor from this sauce comes from the browning of the onions & mushrooms without burning them. After cooking them and deglazing the pan with the red wine, you concentrate all of the flavors and it makes for one flavor bomb as it gets soaked into the wine and passed on to the cream as they cook together.


Another TIP: Add it atop pasta for larger meals with extra comfort.