Chicken in a Pot with Tomatoes & Fennel
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 3–1/2 to 4 lb chicken
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 3 carrots, sliced to 1-2'' slices
- 2 stalks celery, sliced to 1-2'' slices
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 cup white wine
- 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2–3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 bulbs fennel, cut into wedges
- Fennel fronds (greens)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Heat a large nonstick stockpot with a lid over medium heat. Cook the bacon until most of the fat has been rendered out. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pour out all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
- Season the chicken well on all sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the stockpot on all sides, about 10–12 minutes. Remove the chicken to a resting plate.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the stockpot. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the stockpot, along with the rosemary and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Return the chicken to the stockpot and cover with a tight fitting lid.
- Transfer the stockpot to the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove the stockpot from the oven and add the fennel wedges, scattering them around and on top of the chicken. Return the cooked bacon to the stockpot and continue to cook, covered in the oven, for another 45 minutes.
- Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160°F, transfer the chicken to a resting plate and loosely tent with foil. Place the stockpot on the stovetop and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce slightly to concentrate flavors. Carve the chicken into 8 pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Season the liquid to taste with salt and pepper and spoon the broth and vegetables over the carved chicken, garnishing with the feathery fronds of the fennel. Serves 4.
From the cookbook, Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen by Meredith Laurence.