Recipe: Jaques Pépin's Chicken Jardinière

Recipe: Jaques Pépin's Chicken Jardinière

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Christine Gallary
Oct 20, 2015
(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

In my chat with beloved chef Jacques Pépin about home cooking, he mentioned this braise full of juicy dark-meat chicken and vegetables that his mother used to make. I loved the name, which really reflects the essence of this dish that pairs chicken with a full range of vegetables from the garden.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Jacques says, "Jardinière means 'gardener' in French, and the vegetables change according to what is in season or in my garden. This stew is easy to put together, and it gets better every time you reheat it.

"My mother made this type of stew from the carcass of a raw chicken and its gizzards; I use pancetta instead of gizzards for additional flavor, and chicken legs, which stay moist during cooking."

Serve this meal with:

Tester's Notes

When I spoke to Jacques, he mentioned that while his mother made this recipe with skin-on chicken, he now removes the skin before cooking to make the dish lighter. You can substitute frozen pearl onions for fresh ones if they are hard to find.

This dish is a great one-dish meal; it only needs some bread or a simple salad to round it out. It feeds a crowd and uses a great variety of vegetables.

- Christine, October 2015

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Chicken Jardinière

Serves 4

2 1/2 ounces lean pancetta, cut into lardons (strips about 1-inch long and 1/2-inch thick)
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
4 chicken legs (about 2 3/4 pounds), left whole or cut into 2 pieces each, ends of the drumsticks and skin removed (about 2 1/4 pounds trimmed)
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity dry white wine
3/4 cup water
12 small red potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled
8 small baby bella or cremini mushrooms (about 5 ounces), washed
12 small pearl onions (about 4 ounces)
1 1/4 cups diced (1-inch) carrots
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 cup frozen baby peas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Sauté the lardons in the oil in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven (the pan should be wide enough to hold the chicken in a single layer) over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and sauté them, turning once, for about 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle with the flour, salt, and pepper and move the chicken around to distribute the flour evenly. Cook for 1 minute, then add the wine and water and mix well.

Add the potatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots, garlic, and thyme and mix well. Bring to a full boil, making sure that the stew is boiling throughout, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes. (The stew can be prepared ahead to this point and reheated to serve.)

At serving time, add the peas to the stew, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes.

Transfer the stew to individual plates or a large platter, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

(Image credit: Tom Hopkins)

Find Jacques' Book:

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

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