Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken braised in Balsamic Vinegar with dried Porcini Mushrooms and dried Cranberries

This delicious warming casserole is perfect for a Christmas supper. I prefer to make it the day before and allow the flavours to develop over night. This dish freezes beautifully.

30g (1oz) dried porcini mushrooms
8 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
2 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
125g (4oz) streaky bacon, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp dried cranberries
250ml (8floz) red wine
125ml (4floz) chicken stock
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400g (14oz) tin chopped plum tomatoes,
1 tsp cornflour dissolved in a dessert spoon cold water
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Begin by soaking the dried porcini in hand hot water for about half an hour. Lift them out, squeeze as much water as possible out of them and chop finely. Reserve the liquid the porcini have been soaked in.
2. Toss the chicken in seasoned flour. In a heavy pan over medium heat, fry bacon until golden and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the floured chicken pieces to the pan and fry on both sides until lightly golden. Then lift out of the pan and set aside.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, cook until soft, then stir in the dried cranberries, pour in the wine, stock, vinegar and porcini liquid, bring to the boil and simmer steadily for 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and return the chicken and bacon to the pan. Turn the heat down as low as possible and cook gently for 40 minutes. After this time the chicken should be tender.
5. Finally stir in the cornflour mixed with water to thicken the sauce to a nice coating consistency. Serve with lots of chopped fresh parsley.