The best thing about braising is that the meat is juicy, flavorful and absolutely falls off the bone. What I like about this particular recipe is that it’s versatile. You can add other peeled and cubed vegetables like sweet potatoes, pearl onions, rutabaga, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.
- 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 bacon slices, about 3 ounces cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 30 large sprigs fresh sage
- 2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch lengths, about 12 ounces
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch lengths, about 12 ounces
- 1 medium turnip, peeled, cut into 1-inch wedges, about 12 ounces
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup toasted California walnut halves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large heavy casserole over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until light golden, 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium high. In the same pan, add the chicken in a single layer with space between, season with salt and pepper, and cook until light golden, 5 minutes on each side. Increase the heat to high and add the bacon, garlic, stock, and 3 tablespoons chopped sage. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer covered until the juices from the chicken are clear, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan with tongs and set aside, covered with foil. Strain the liquid and pour it back into the pan. Discard the solids. Add the parsnips, carrots and turnip, simmer over medium heat uncovered until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan and add to the chicken.
- In the meantime, pick 30 large sage leaves. Warm the oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat until it ripples. Fry the sage until crispy and light golden, 10 to 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- In a small bowl, with a fork, mash together the flour and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Bring the liquid to a boil and with a whisk, whisk the flour and butter into the liquid, simmering until the liquid coats a spoon lightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
- To serve, heat the sauce over medium high heat until it is hot. Add the chicken, vegetables and walnuts and heat thoroughly, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the vegetables, chicken and walnuts on a platter and drizzle the sauce over the top. Garnish with crispy sage and serve immediately.