Coq Bourgonogne en Croute
1/2 lb bacon
1 lb skinless chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless)
2 tbsp butter
3 cups sliced button mushrooms (I prefer to remove the gills)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups Burgundy OR Cabernet Sauvignon wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
About 1 1/4 cups peeled whole pearl onions (about 10 oz)
12 puff pastry shells, prepared according to manufacturer instruction
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
3. Cut across the bacon slab to make short, thin strips. Place the bacon in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Reserve the fat.
4. Once the bacon is cool, grind it in a food processor (or chop it) until it becomes fine bits. Set aside.
5. Return 2 tbsp of the bacon grease to the pan. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides, then transfer it to a plate. It will still be very raw inside.
6. Off of the heat, melt the butter in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden. Add the garlic. Sauté until the garlic is straw-colored. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a plate. Set aside.
7. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, 3 1/2 tsp sugar, thyme, parsley, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and the bacon. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
8. Stir the onions and the mushroom mixture into the pan. Add the chicken pieces back into the pan. Cover the pan with an over-proof lid or aluminum foil and place it in the oven.
9. Leave the pan in until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°, flipping the chicken over about half-way through (after 10-15 minutes).
10. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
11. Place the pan on the stove. Simmer the sauce until the onions are cooked through (they will become transparent). The sauce will thicken slightly.
12. Add salt to taste (I added 1/4 tsp more). The chicken can be served at this point, topped with the sauce. It is excellent over rice. Otherwise, make sure your puff pastry shells are baked and ready.
13. When the chicken has rested for at least 10 minutes, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
14. When the sauce is ready, remove it from the heat. Stir in the chicken pieces. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pastry shells. Serve!