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Poulet en Cocotte “Bonne Femme” (Chicken with Mushrooms & Bacon Sauce)

Poulet en Cocotte “Bonne Femme”

Poulet en Cocotte “Bonne Femme”

This particular version of the recipe is adapted from a dish served at Le Veau d’Or in New York.

Serves 2-4


1/2 lb thick cut bacon, cut into 1” inch pieces, you can substitute pancetta

1 roasting chicken

about 4 1/2 lbs

3 shallots, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1/2 lb crimini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed, brushed clean and quartered

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup beef stock

unsalted butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Beurre manié, optional, 1 tbsp flour, 1tbsp unsalted butter, used to thicken sauce (combine the butter and flour together, beating with a fork until they are thoroughly blended)


Preheat the oven to 325oF. Melt one tbsp of butter over medium-high heat in a cocotte or heavy ovenproof pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the bacon and sauté until the fat has been rendered and the bacon is golden and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pat the chicken dry and place it in the pot, breast side up. Sear the chicken on all sides, turning as necessary, until it is golden and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot, letting any liquids drain back into the pot and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the shallots and sauté until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pot, with a pinch of salt, stir and sauté until they start of soften, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Add the sliced garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked bacon, white wine, beef stock, salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pot, breast side up. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 375oF, remove the lid and continue to cook until the chicken has reached a temperature of 165oF, the juices run clear and the sauce has thickened, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven. Set the chicken aside and cover loosely with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes before serving.

If you think the sauce needs to be thickened a bit more, you can simmer it on the stove while the chicken is resting. If you prefer an even thicker sauce, you can strain out and reserve the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and bacon. Place the liquid in a pan over medium high heat and reduce it.

As an alternative you can also bring the liquid to a boil and whisk about 1/2 of the beurre manié into the sauce. Continue whisking for a minute or two as the sauce thickens and the flour taste is cooked out. If it is still not thick enough, add the remainder of the beurre manié and whisk for another minute or two. Taste to make sure the flour taste is cooked out. Remove from the heat, and carefully skim off any fat from the top of the sauce. Then return the mushrooms,shallots, garlic and bacon to the pot and simmer for several minutes to make sure they are warm. Stir and taste. Add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve with the chicken and perhaps some egg noodles, pasta, mashed potatoes or polenta.