Braised Chicken with Porcini & Pancetta

Braised Chicken Thighs with Porcini & Pancetta

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I prefer to make this dish with just the chicken thighs, although, you could certainly include the drumsticks.  The combination of red wine and tomato paste, along with porcini mushroom and pancetta, makes an amazing, intensely flavored sauce.  An earthy, robust dish!

Dried Porcini Mushroom – about 1.25 oz.
3/4 cup Water (for soaking)

Heat in Water in microwave to almost hot.  Pour over dried Porcini — Steep for 20 minutes.  Remove from water — Chop and set aside. Strain liquid through cheese-cloth or coffee filter; set aside.

10 – 12 Chicken Thighs
1 Onion – chopped
Olive Oil
4 oz. Pancetta – minced
Garlic – Chopped
Fresh Sage / Rosemary – chopped
1 – 2 cups rich Chicken Broth
1 cup Zinfandel Wine
1 can Tomato Paste

In saute pan, saute Onion in Olive Oil to slightly carmelized — Remove from pan.

Heat Oil in Dutch oven.  Working in batches, brown Chicken Thighs, 8 minutes per side — Transfer batches to platter.

Remove most of the fat.  Reduce heat a bit — Add Pancetta, Garlic, Sage, Rosemary — Saute gently for 2 minutes. Add chopped Porcini — Saute 2 minutes more.  Add Wine and Chicken Broth — Simmer briefly; add Tomato Paste and Porcini liquid — Simmer 5 minutes.

Return Chicken Thighs to pan — Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, till tender.  Or cook in 350 oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  Serve (with plenty of sauce) over buttered Noodles, Polenta, or garlic-mashed potatoes.