Michael Pollan's Wine-Braised Chicken

A homemade healthy meal doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. This one-pot recipe from Michael Pollan, author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, makes tender chicken with very little effort. If you can make this simple dish, you can use different ingredients for other variations. Substitute the wine for vinegar to add some tang, or mix up the herbs and vegetables.

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Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup canned whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsely
  • 6 cups root vegetables mix

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F. Season chicken with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or wide, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Arrange half the chicken in pot in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until much of the acrid aroma has dissipated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and 1/2 cup water, bring to a vigorous simmer and cook until slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes.

Whisk in tomato paste and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add root vegetable mix to fill the bottom of the pot, then add tomatoes and arrange chicken in pot, skin side up, pouring over any accumulated juices from plate. Tuck garlic, thyme and bay leaves in liquid. Cover pot snugly with foil, then lid and transfer to oven. Cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Let rest 30 minutes; discard thyme and bay leaves. Scatter parsley on top and serve.