This dish, which is delicious and as last minute friendly as a recipe can get, appeared in an article about what chefs cook on their nights off by Sam Sifton in the New York Times Sunday magazine a few weeks ago. He adapted it from a recipe by Andrew and Rishia Zimmern who got it via Martha Stewart. Because it looked so simple and easy, I made it last week, (with a few tweaks) the night my brother and sister-in-law arrived from New York. And it was simple and easy (and a resounding 5) except that Trader Joe’s didn’t have chicken thighs with skin and bones (8 thighs in the original recipe) so I used six legs and one split breast and substituted basil instead of tarragon. Since I have never cooked with shallots I was a little mystified whether one shallot was actually half a shallot. Each one seemed to have two or three inside, but in the end I used nine whole, complete shallots.
(I also borrowed the picture above from the article. Christopher Testani is the photographer,)
1 split chicken breast and 6 legs (or 8 chicken thighs, or whatever parts of the chicken you like best.)
half a lemon
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
9 whole shallots (original recipe had 12 – 15 shallots)
2 cups white wine (Two Buck Chuck chardonnay works nicely)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 of cup (or more) torn fresh basil (or two sprigs of tarragon)
Rinse the chicken and pat very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them with the flour, salt and pepper. (after I did this separately I thought how much easier to mix the three together and then sprinkle on the chicken.) Because I love lemon I sprinkled the chicken with it before the flour and seasonings, but then I put lemon on most everything.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When the butter foams cook the chicken until brown and crisp on all sides. Set aside on a plate.
Add the shallots to the pan and sauté them in the butter and chicken fat (I had very little fat or butter left so I added a bit more butter) . Cook for 10 – 12 minutes until softened and caramelized . Add the wine to deglaze the pan, stir and then add mustard and basil. Add the chicken, cover the pan, turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook for 15 – 20 more minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce.[And here I paused it until dinner time.]
If you also pause it, reheat and then add the cherry tomatoes, stir lightly to combine and serve with what Sam Sifton says is “the professional cook’s favorite accompaniment: Good bread from the bakery.” (and also the intimidated cook’s favorite accompaniment.) A Caesar salad goes nicely with it.
What nine shallots look like: