Yesterday, Scott Robinson, sous chef of Bainbridge Island's Restaurant Marché, defined the classic French influences on their menu, and the ways they've refined it. Today, he shares a recipe, a simpler twist on a French classic to bring the market (or rather, restaurant) back to your home. Restaurant Marché's Wednesday special, the Poulet au Riesling, is cooked in white wine instead of the traditional red. "This chicken cooked in wine bears some allegiance to Coq au Vin, but comes together far more quickly and seems somehow more suited to contemporary tastes," explains Robinson. In keeping with the name of the restaurant, Robinson recommends using the seasonal, organic ingredients available at your local farmers market. "Instead of the usual button mushrooms, I use forest mushrooms like chanterelles, shiitake, or morels, depending on the season. And I always start with a free-range or organic chicken," he said.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ pound (about 4 thick slices) pancetta or bacon
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (or 1 cut-up chicken)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
½ pound forest mushrooms, sliced fairly thin
3 cups (about 1 bottle) Riesling
1 cup heavy whipping cream, preferably organic
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1.) In a heavy 1-gallon stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Cut the bacon into ½-inch pieces and cook them in the hot fat until they are crisp. Lift the bacon bits out of the pan with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate.
2.) Sprinkle the chicken pieces with kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg and arrange them, skin-side down, in the fat left in the pan. When the pieces are browned, lift them out of the pan and put them on a plate. Pour off and discard all but 3 or 4 tablespoons of the fat. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the chopped onions and the sliced garlic in the hot fat left behind. Cook, stirring until the onions have softened but not colored.
3.) Add the mushrooms and continue cooking gently until they are heated through, about 3 minutes. Bring the heat up to high, pour in the wine, and when the wine comes to a full, rolling boil, put the chicken pieces back and turn the heat down to medium low. Simmer gently, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
4.) Lift the chicken pieces out of the pan and put them on a plate. Pour in the cream and boil until the sauce is reduced somewhat and beginning to thicken. Return the chicken to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and the reserved bacon; serve hot with buttered noodles as a side dish.