This recipe is for something simple and very satisfying. I consider it to be an old time comfort food that is great for colder weather or for a Saturday night supper.
I never made this dish until about mid-2010, yet I had memories of the fragrant scent of chicken braising in the homes of my great-uncles and great-aunts back in the 1950’s.
Mostly they farmed and their meals were traditional for farming folks. My mother did not make braised chicken, and why I know not. I guess we were too "modern." More likely it was because my dad was not all that fond of chicken.
Well, memories lead to action when they are really good memories. And to be blunt, I didn’t even consider looking up a recipe on the Internet or in a cookbook. I simply made what I sensed would be delicious. So it was. So it has been ever since the first time. In fact, Janet and I just finished a most satisfying meal of braised chicken and gravy with rice for me and noodles for her and steamed carrots and individual romaine salads with homemade bleu cheese and sweet and sour salad dressings. This is something we enjoy thoroughly about once every two or three months.
5 chicken drumsticks
2 chicken breast halves (or combinations of thighs and breast halves)
½ stick of butter
1½ cups water
1 tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Black pepper
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon (Giada DeLaurentis of the Food Network® is responsible for me adding this herb, which enhances the overall taste nicely) or 1/2 tsp. of dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 strips of raw bacon
Put all the ingredients into a large skillet with a glass cover. Heat on medium heat. When the contents are boiling reduce the heat to low, and simmer.
About every ten minutes turn the pieces of chicken over and recover the skillet and continue the cooking.
After about 30 minutes most of the water is evaporated and the chicken has started to brown nicely on both sides in the hot butter.
Continue to cook in the butter on low heat, turning the chicken every five minutes for a total time of fifteen minutes.
Remove the chicken to a platter or other serving dish and put it into a warm 200º F oven.
Add two cups of water (or one 14 oz. can of chicken broth and ¼ cup of water) and two tbsp. of cornstarch to the skillet contents with no heat. Use a plastic spatula to free the browned chicken particles from the skillet bottom and when you have it all in the water then turn on the heat to medium.
Stir continuously while the "soon to be gravy" mixture comes to a boil. When it starts to boil it will thicken and it is then done cooking. Turn the heat off and pour the gravy through a sieve and a large funnel into a gravy boat. Put the gravy boat into the warming oven, along with your dinner plates.
I hope that you considered and prepared other meal items like rice or noodles and some steamed vegetables and a salad before making the gravy. If not, do those items now.
Serve the meal and you will get very satisfied moans and groans as your family and/or friends dispense all of the food rather quickly.
All of you will walk or waddle away from the table quite satisfied. There will be peace on earth that evening, at least in your home.