Chicken with White Wine and Crème Fraîche
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Wine-bar owner Pierre Jancou (who shares cooking duties with Ewen Lemoigne) is fanatical about ingredients: He gets his chicken from the same poultryman as Michelin-three-star Alain Passard. The chicken is first poached, then seared so the skin is golden and crispy.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 carrot, halved lengthwise
- 1 celery rib, halved lengthwise
- 1 leek, white and tender green parts only, quartered lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 clove
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and cook in a single layer over moderately high heat, skin side down, until the skin is golden and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the chicken stock, water and white wine to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the carrot, celery, leek, onion, garlic, bay leaves, clove and peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet, skin side up. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
- Strain the cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the crème fraîche and butter and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken, skin side down; cook over moderately high heat until the skin is crisp, 2 minutes. Transfer to plates, ladle the sauce on top and serve.
The 15 natural-wine producers that Jancou champions are mostly unavailable in the United States, but some producers with similar philosophies are, like Jean-Paul Brun of Domaine des Terres Dorées in Beaujolais, whose Beaujolais Blanc is an ideal match for this luscious chicken dish.