Think of this as a lighter, easier coq au vin, with asparagus and new potatoes in the pot, and boneless chicken breasts instead of a cut-up bird. All that adds up to a dish that’s quick to make (it simmers in less than 30 minutes) but has a long-simmered taste.
|1½||pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|4||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut into 1-inch lengths|
|1||shallot, finely chopped|
|1||cup white wine|
|20||small new potatoes (size of walnuts)|
|2||cups chicken stock|
|¾||pound cremini or button mushrooms, thickly sliced|
|2||tablespoons chopped fresh parsley|
1. Cut the breasts on the diagonal into ¾-inch slices. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken and stir to coat it all over; set aside.
2. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender. Remove from the pan and transfer to a clean bowl.
3. Gently shake any excess flour from half the chicken pieces, and place them in the hot pan. Cook without disturbing for 3 minutes. Turn and cook the undersides for 3 minutes. Transfer to another bowl. Brown the remaining chicken in the same way and transfer to the bowl. (Reserve the rest of the flour from coating the chicken.)
4. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, or until softened. Whisk in the flour from the coating bowl until it is well blended, then whisk in the wine, scraping up the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan.
5. Add the potatoes, stock, and water. Add more stock or water if the potatoes are not covered with liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced when a skewer.
6. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the chicken. Let the liquid come to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
7. Add the asparagus and cook 1 minute more, or until it is hot. (Total simmering time is 26 minutes.)
8. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Jill Gibson