Weekly Winner: Bubbly, Buttery Chicken

1210p107-champagne-browned-butter-chicken-lChampagne, Butter, Bacon — need I go on?  Seriously, what else does one need for a tasty meal.  Perhaps something to put this tasty trio onto or in?  Cue this week’s winner:  Champagne Browned Butter Chicken.

There is very little you can do to chicken that I do not like.  I find the combination of chicken and wine is fabulous and while I adore coq au vin, I’m always a tad turned off by the purplish hue.  Also, I’m a big fan of the bubbly.  Never met a glass I didn’t like (as long as it is not sweet, and not bastardized by the addition of orange juice).  So get rid of the red wine and substitute Champagne in this dish and you have all the tasty goodness without the freakish color.

This yummy dish comes from Cooking Light Magazine and the absolute best part is that it only requires a cup of champagne — what you do with the rest is totally up to you!  I did make one big, important change to this recipe.  The original recipe tells you to cook the bacon, reserve the drippings to brown the chicken in — but save the bacon for another use.  Seriously??  How can adding the crisp bacon to the final dish be a bad thing?  Who actually reserves cooked bacon for another use?  The only other use I can think of is for snacking during cooking but no, I just added it to the final dish and highly recommend that you do the same.

One note on the picture.  Not sure whether to blame the blurriness of my photo on my rush to dig into the dish or the disposal of the rest of the Champagne, but decided it best to use the photo in the magazine.  Mine was close, trust me!

Champagne Browned Butter Chicken

Serves 6


2 slices center-cut bacon

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

6 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 1 3/4 pounds)

6 bone-in chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound red-skinned potatoes, quartered

1 pound button mushrooms, halved

1/4 cup brandy

4 shallots, halved

3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken stock

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

3 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

12 baby carrots with tops

1 cup Champagne

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Place 2/3 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken lightly in flour; shake off excess flour. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken.

3. Add potatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in brandy. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 30 seconds), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan. Add shallots and stock; bring to a boil. Place peppercorns and next 3 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges; tie with butcher’s twine. Add bundle to pan. Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 15 minutes.

4. Trim carrot tops to 1-inch; scrub carrots. Add the carrots to pan. Bake an additional 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is done. Remove chicken and vegetables from pan; keep warm. Discard herb bundle. Place pan over medium-high heat. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until mixture reduces to 2/3 cup (about 11 minutes).

5. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook butter 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add butter mixture to reduced wine mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with chicken and vegetables. Garnish with reserved chopped bacon, fresh parsley and thyme.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy C
    Dec 09, 2012 @ 20:20:20

    I’m with you on the un appetising hue of coq au vin – it always looks like raw chicken to me, YUCK! I am very excited about this new recipe you’ve shared as with the winter upon us it ’tis the season’ for this sort of dish.


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