3SlicesPancetta, thick cut or bacon (optional) 1WholeChicken, cleaned and cut into 6th (Leg/thigh, breast, wing) 1Each Leeks, cleaned and sliced 2Each Shallots, peeled and diced, about 1 cup 3TBSP Thyme Leaves, fresh 1BottleWit Style Beer*, 750ml 1Cup Chicken Stock, preferably homemade 1Cup Heavy Cream, organic 2Pounds White Asparagus, bottom ends removed Chervil or Italian Leaf Parsley (garnish) Dried Orange Slices (Garnish)
Wit Braised Chicken
Served with White Asparagus and a over Celery Root Purée
Preheat oven to 350° In a 12 quart dutch oven, over medium heat, add oil and pancetta (1, 2) and cook until the Italian bacon is slightly crisp, rendered its fat, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pot, setting aside in a bowl. While the pancetta is cooking, cut up the chicken, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with flour evenly on both sides. Add the 3 chicken pieces to the oil and pancetta fat, browning each side for about 5-6 minutes (3). The chicken will not be fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan and repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Remove the last batch of chicken and add coriander and orange zest and sauté for 30 seconds, as the coriander starts to pop, flavoring the remaining oil. Add the leeks, shallots and thyme to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the leeks have wilted slightly. Deglaze the pan with Wit beer (4), using a wooden spoon to remove any of the fond on the bottom of the pan (5). Add chicken stock and cream, bring to a simmer. Place the cooked chicken pieces into the simmering liquid along with the pancetta (6). Place the pot into the middle of the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and place on a burner; removing the chicken pieces carefully from the pot to a side dish. Add the prepped asparagus on top of the sauce, in the pan and reduce the sauce over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened, reducing by about half. To serve family style, either add the the chicken back to the pot and garnish (7) or place the chicken onto a large platter (with the Celery Root Purée recipe), (8) arranging the cooked asparagus around the rim of the dish and ladle the sauce over the top, garnishing with chervil or Italian leaf parsley. If serving individual plates (9), mound a scoop of Celery Root Puree in the center of the plate, placing a piece of the chicken on top, arranging some asparagus overlapping each other and dressing it in some of the Wit Sauce. Garnish with chervil or Italian leaf parsley and Dried Orange. * For Beer, using a Wit (a Belgian wheat beer spiced with coriander and bitter orange peel) I would recommend Blanche de Chambley from Unibroue, Blanche de Brugge, Hoegaarden or Celis White. The soft wheat flavors with the spice compliment the chicken, also making a wonderful sauce. To pair a beer with this dish, you could serve the same beer as the sauce was made with, but a Westmalle Tripel would also compliment the flavors of the dish, as would a Westmalle Dubbel, or even a Belgian Noel Spiced brew.