Have you ever had a dish at a restaurant that was so good and so simple that you couldn't wait to go home to try to replicate it? Perhaps a scrumptious farmer's market salad? Seafood pasta? Creamy, savory, bacon-y mac and cheese? Or if you're really ambitious, cracking the code to a restaurant's secret recipe for chocolate chip cookies? I've encountered many meals that have inspired crazy adventures in the kitchen where I tenaciously guess, test and tweak recipes over and over again until I achieve the same inspiring results. Many end in utter failure and a handful so close, it makes all the trials that much more worthwhile. It's kind of like falling in love, and trying to replicate everything that brought you to such a heavenly state. I know, the recipe may not love you back, but you've simply got to try.
The center of my admiration in this post is a meal that I enjoyed in 2004, not at a restaurant, but a friend's house while studying for a finance industry exam. Typically in these situations, you just ask for the recipe. Unfortunately there was none, it was simply thrown together on the fly with available ingredients. But it was so incredible, the memory of it still haunts me to this day. Tender, succulent, fall-off-the-bone chicken with a rustic smoky and savory rosemary white wine sauce. And after years of testing, I think I've got the recipe. So now you can try this at home!
ROSEMARY CHICKEN WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE
- 4 chicken thighs or drumstick
- 4 bacon strips
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, roughly 6-inches
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional step, lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper, marinate overnight.
- In a medium to large pan, brown the bacon on each side, remove and set aside on a cutting board. Turn the heat down to medium. Take the chicken, blot dry with a paper towel, add the chicken in the pan with the bacon drippings. Brown the chicken pieces for 5 minutes on each side.
- In the meantime, combine the chicken stock and white wine in a bowl or measuring cup, stir in flour until well blended, set aside.
- Set the chicken towards the sides of the pan, and minced garlic. Toast the garlic in the center of the pan until golden. Stir in half of the chicken stock mixture until the sauce thickens. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, rosemary sprigs and an additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock and butter. Coat the chicken with the sauce and bring to the center of the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer. If the sauce is too thick for your preference add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Chop the bacon into half inch pieces, add to the pan and mix. Cover the pan halfway and allow the chicken to cook on medium-low on a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Discard rosemary sprigs.