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Wine-Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta


Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 97

In this modern take on coq au vin, Riesling subs for the usual red wine.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 4 chicken drumsticks (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 oz. pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 heaping cup)
  • 8 medium shallots, lobes separated, large lobes halved through the core
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices, large slices cut in half
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups dry fruity white wine, preferably Alsatian or German dry Riesling
  • 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Arrange the chicken skin side down in the pot in a snug single layer and sear, flipping once, until golden brown all over, 10 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Cook the pancetta in the pot until well browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off and discard the fat.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots, carrots, and fennel, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until its aroma subsides, 1 to 2 minutes.

Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf together with twine (or tie them in a small cheesecloth sachet). Add the herb bundle to the pot, along with the wine. Simmer briskly, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits. Add the broth and return the chicken and pancetta to the pot, arranging the chicken in a single layer. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven.

Braise the chicken until the meat is fork-tender and just starting to come away from the bone, 35 to 45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon and tent with foil. Discard the herb bundle. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and reduce to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish may be made up to 2 days ahead. Let the sauce cool before adding the chicken and vegetables and refrigerating. Reheat gently over medium-low heat before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 750, Fat (kcal): 46, Fat Calories (g): 410, Saturated Fat (g): 12, Protein (g): 42, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23, Carbohydrates (mg): 21, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 7, Sodium (g): 1440, Cholesterol (g): 140, Fiber (g): 4,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I was just looking at your One-Pot meals from Fall 2011. This dish is on the cover and it looks delicious! I was going to make it. However, I discovered that I had already made it in February, 2012. My comment on the page was "too much work, expensive and very bland. Do not make again." The photography is beautiful but the dish was a disappointment.

Made exactly as recipe directed except I only used bone in thighs and added browned cipolinni onions in addition to the shallots. I served it over stone ground onion grits. We had friends who aren't big chicken eaters and they cleaned their bowls. Next time I probably would increase the pancetta amount and size of the dice. I added a little corn starch to thicken the sauce at the end. Served it with oven roasted califlower drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.

I think this is a great recipe. I did read the reviews before I made it and here are some tips for the people who said it didn't come out like the picture. Since they didn't say why, I will only guess. Like one reviewer said it has a lot to do with the pan. If you can get a dutch oven it will make a big difference in browning and retaining the liquid while baking. To get that deep dark sauce, you need to heat the pot then pour in the oil and when the oil just starts to smoke add the meat and brown. You want the bottom of the pan to brown, {if it starts to burn add a little liquid} this is what will give the sauce its deep color. A non-stick usually isn't going to give the same effect, cast iron will. Also, when browning meat, do not keep lifting the meat to see if it is brown, I know this is difficult, but the meat needs to have a continual contact with heat to get a nice deep golden color. So let it be in contact with bottom of pan for three to five minutes before looking. I hope this helps because this is a good dish.

Wonderful recipe! The chicken was tender and moist and the sauce was wonderful. You can't go wrong with braising meat in wine and onions. The addition of lemon zest provided just the right amount of brightness to the sauce.

The chicken turned out dry and it tasted pretty bland.

I have made this recipe many times and each time it has been delicious. I just made it again this weekend. I had some left over olives in the fridge that I had marinated with garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest. I added those olives and it took the flavors over the top.....sooooooooooooo good. Since the olives had been marinated with some lemon, I never added any more lemon when serving. I sprinkled the final dish with chopped Italian parsley and some chopped fennel ferns. I usually serve this chicken dish with quinoa.

I did not care for this dish - seemed bland to me although my guests did like it.

I make this chicken at least once a month. I use all thighs because they have such great flavor. I also use bacon instead of pancetta: I cook the bacon first, add the meat to brown; remove the meat; pour off the fat; add the vegetables; deglaze with pan with the same wine I am drinking with dinner; add the stock, chicken, bouquet & bacon; bring to a boil; cook in the oven for 45 minutes; strain the sauce, reduce it and add a little demi glace with the lemon zest. Amazing flavor. I serve this over riced Yukon Gold potatoes. Heavenly!

Really flavorful. Definitely one of the best chicken recipes around. I use a whole chicken cut up instead of just dark meat.

This has become one of my favorite fall dishes and my family and friends LOVE it. Mine came out exactly the way the picture looks, I think because I live in a high altitude, so I pan cooked my chicken much longer than the recipe calls for, to make sure I got a good crust on before I moved on to the next steps. Also, when making great food, you really need great cookware. It makes all the difference in the world. All the individual ingredients married extremely well in the completed dish and the aromatics are amazing! I always serve mine over hot rice. I agree with having all the prep work done ahead of time, as the dish moves very quickly until you get it into the oven. I now substitute this for chicken soup when I have sick friends. Their families love it, too!

excellent. I reduced the sauce as the recipe instructed, but then thickened it a bit with cornstarch.

Delicious! I used double the carrots and fennel. Also reduced the sauce more making more of a glaze. So tasty, tender, full of flavor yet not to heavy. I served over brown rice.

My husband's favorite. Yummy sauce and reheats really well.

I have made this dish twice and both times mine didn't look like the picture either but the taste was fantastic. I used wine the first time and the second time I replaced it with 1/2 cup of brandy. Both were great but I think I prefer the brandy. Have all your ingredients ready before starting this as it will make it easier. I also used hot pancetta the second time and it added a little bit of punch to the dish.

This was a nice and light in flavor meal, the chicken was amazing and the fennel added the perfect added taste.

Love this recipe. Easily adapts to what you have on hand...I have substituted bacon for the pancetta, onions and leeks for the shallots, chicken breasts for the legs and thighs, etc. I also like to add quartered mushrooms and serve it over egg noodles. I was skeptical about the Riesling, as I find it far to sweet to drink, but it gives the broth great flavor!

This dish is wonderful! I didn't have a dutch oven so I used two smaller cast iron pots. I added 1 more carrot as well as additional chicken to each pot and the recipe accommodated the extras. Hubby says it's a keeper!

Perfect for a winter meal and can be served family style.

I did try this last night and it was fabulous! I have never used fennel (because it was said to have a licorice flavor) and it was mild and wonderful. The finished product did not, however, look like the picture in the magazine; I think with white wine it doesn't get that rich, glazed look, but it was ever so tasty. I did add a couple of extra pieces of chicken as we had unexpected extras for dinner, and I would have liked the sauce being a bit thicker (it tended to spread on the plate a bit too much), but other than that, it was a smashing success. This will be a welcome addition to my recipe file, especially since it can be made in advance. Thanks!

Great recipe. Personally I would prefer more carrots and will probably double amount next time. Pretty quick and easy. Very moist, juicy chicken. The shallots give it almost a sweet taste. Very flavorful dish.

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