This intensely-flavored chicken dish features chicken that's browned in bacon drippings and baked in a Dutch oven along with carrots, potatoes and herbs. Then the chicken and vegetables are topped with a rich butter-Champagne sauce for a hearty dish that's perfect for entertaining.
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 drumstick, 1 thigh, 2 carrots, about 2/3 cup mushroom mixture, and about 2 tablespoons sauce)
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. Reserve bacon for another use. 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 chopped fresh parsley and thyme.