Okay, I'm not talking quicker like "open up some cans and put it on your 'tablescape' " kind of quick. It does take a lot less time to get that silken, falling off the bone quality of a good braised chicken when prepared in a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker, though I don't see why not, you can do this in a covered Dutch oven or a wide, heavy-bottomed casserole with a lid. This recipe makes a lotta sauce-a, so make some papardelle noodles or rice to soak it up.
Serves 4 to 6
8 to 10 pieces chicken thighs and
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons. dried thyme
¾ cup dried porcini,
rehydrated with 1 cup hot water until very soft
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
¾ cup tomato paste
1½ cups cognac or brandy
2 medium carrots, washed, trimmed
and sliced into thin coins
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups red wine
5 to 6 pieces bacon, chopped
2 cups combination of crimini and
button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons each: fresh parsley,
chervil, tarragon and chives OR
dried Fines Herbes
Liberally rub chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then the thyme. Let rest for several minutes at room temperature. Puree the porcini with their liquid and set them aside.
Over medium heat, melt butter in a medium to large-size pressure cooker. When butter is foamy, lay chicken skin-down, with some room between each piece, and cook on medium heat until golden brown. (Depending on the size of the pan and chicken pieces, this may take 2 or three batches to complete). Turn and repeat on other side.
Remove chicken from the pan
and set aside. To the pan, add the flour and tomato paste, whisking well. Allow
it to brown slightly, then add brandy or cognac. Bring to a simmer and reduce until slightly
thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add stock and wine. Place thigh and leg sections on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then place the carrots over the thighs. Cover with lid, and lock. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
Meanwhile, sauté bacon on high heat until slightly crispy. Add mushrooms and sauté until brown. Set aside.
After 30 minutes, remove the cooker from heat. Release pressure, remove lid and add the sautéed mushroom and bacon. Stir pureed porcini into sauce, return chicken to pan, scoop some sauce over it and serve directly or transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs and serve.