∙ 3 to 4 ounce chunk of lean bacon
∙ 2 tbsp butter
∙ 3 lb cut up frying chicken
∙ ½ tsp salt
∙ 1/8 tsp pepper
∙ ¼ cup cognac
∙ 3 cups French Burgundy red wine
∙ 2 cups brown chicken stock
∙ ½ tbsp tomato paste
∙ 2 cloves garlic minced
∙ ¼ tsp dry thyme
∙ 1 bay leaf
∙ 4 cups whole button mushrooms, or large mushrooms, halved
∙ 12 to 24 brown braised onions
∙ 3 tbsp flour
∙ 2 tbsp softened butter
1. Remove the rind from the bacon and cut into ¼” x 1” long lardons. Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water and dry.
2. Using a large casserole pot, Sauté the bacon slowly in 2 tbsp hot butter until it is very lightly browned. Keep the fat and remove bacon to a side dish.
3. Dry the chicken thoroughly and cut into pieces. Brown in the hot fat.
4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, return the bacon to the pot with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly at 300F for 10 minutes, turning the chicken after 5 minutes.
5. Uncover and add the cognac. Light with a long match or lighter and be careful not to burn your face! Shake the casserole back and forth until the flames subside.
6. Pour the wine into the casserole with the chicken and just enough of the stock to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes (or until juices run clear). Remove chicken to a side dish.
7. While the chicken is cooking sauté the onions and mushrooms.
8. Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 ¼ cups. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.
9. Blend the 3 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp butter into a smooth paste. Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whisk. Bring to a simmer, stirring and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
10. Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce.
11. Flavour improves if cooled and refrigerated overnight; reheat thoroughly before serving. 12. Serve over hot buttered egg noodles.