Recipe: Chicken Stew (Ragoût)

This is my recipe for a French style chicken stew:

1. Fry bits of sliced / cut bacon (I used less than 50g) on low heat to melt the fat, when sufficiently molten drain and leave fat in frying pan.

2. Fry 2 cloves of garlic and a finely sliced onion in the fat, with a bit of added olive oil until translucent (stir well) and add a 2 sliced stalks of celery and a sliced thick carrot. Fry on medium heat to make mirepoix, without going so far as to brown or burn it much. Put the mirepoix in a large (soup)pan.

3. Rub pieces of chicken not too liberally with some salt and pepper (I used over 1½ pounds of drumsticks – use less for filet but preferably use pieces that have bone), then with flour and cornflour and shake off excess.

4. Fry the chicken on high heat in some butter (you may add a splash of olive oil) until browned.

5. Combine everything in the large pan and add 250 ml dry white wine, 1 cube chicken stock, one bayleaf, about a ½-1 teaspoon(?) of fennelseed which you grind before adding, 500g of passata (puree tomato sauce), optionally some djahe (powdered ginger root) and if you like a dash of smoked pepper (no more than a knifetip’s worth). Stir and jiggle to compact the chicken and other ingredients. Add a little water to submerge everything, just.

6. Heat under stirring and keep on low heat for about 3 hours. Regularly scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.

7. Add salt if necessary and serve. Nice with pasta although would not recommend with spagetti / tagliatelle / pappardelle.

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