Finally, a little rain in these dry parts! It’s much needed, and as grateful as I am for a little downpour I’m even more so for the chance to whip up some fantastically comforting cold-weather dishes. You know, the kind that simmer away all day, filling your house with irresistible savory scents? One pot dishes like soups and stews have been few and far between lately since winter seems to have skipped right over us in “endless summer” Cali. It’s difficult to get into a winter state of mind in Santa Barbara, even if it is February. I mean, who wants to break out the crockpot when it’s 70 degrees outside?
So I’m making the most out of these next few rainy days and busting out the comfort food all-stars. Tonight I’m going old school and making a homemade mac & cheese with hot dogs. What? Sometimes I get a little trashy in the kitchen. Don’t judge. This is edible nostalgia at its best.
But before that it was this homey chicken dish, slowly braised in white wine, with silky shallot and velvety white beans in every bite. It’s the kind of dish that will make you feel like that snowman in the Campbell’s Soup commercial who comes in from the cold and sips on hot soup until he melts back into a little kid. I know you feel me.
Braised Chicken with Fennel, Shallot & White Beans
A comforting chicken dish, slowly braised in white wine, with silky shallot and velvety white beans in every bite. It’s the kind of dish that will make you feel like that snowman in the Campbell’s Soup commercial who comes in from the cold and sips on hot soup until he melts back into a little kid. I know you feel me.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 chicken quarters leg and thigh
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz. cubed pancetta
- 4 shallots peeled and halved
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 small bulb fennel diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 14 oz. can canellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. parsley chopped
- 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- Heat the oven to 300°. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken skin side down in the pot and sear for about 5 minutes on each side until skin turns golden brown, then transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook the pancetta in the same pot until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain.
- Add the shallots, carrots and fennel to pot and cook in the pancetta grease, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown and soften, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook cook for an additional minute or so.
- Add bay leaf and wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits. Continue cooking until the wine is reduced by half.
- Add the broth and white beans and return the chicken and pancetta to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven.
- Braise the chicken for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter, reserving sauce in the pot. Discard the bay leaf.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat until reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.
Instead of cannellini beans, you can use red kidney, great northern or navy beans.