How to make it

  • Marinade the chicken thighs in enough of the red wine to cover them for as long as possible (overnight is good)
  • add butter and olive oil to a good sized, heavy-bottomed cooking pan and heat high
  • brown chicken thighs, 5 minutes each side, in batches if necessary, remove and reserve
  • while doing this add the pickling onions to a small pan of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. The skin should slide right off after. Reserve the water to top up the casserole if necessary
  • add carrot, onions and bacon to the heavy pan and sautee for a few minutes, adding garlic late enough for it to colour but not burn
  • add the thighs back in and cover with the red wine - most of the bottle should do (you know what to do with the glass left over!)
  • add bay leaves, thyme, tomato paste, salt (not much, depending on your bacon supplier) and pepper
  • Bring to boil and reduce heat to as low as possible - just enough to keep the temperature up to a very, very slow simmer (important or the chicken thighs disintegrate!)
  • Cook for 4 hours, reallllllllll slowwwwwwwwww
  • Option: thicken with cornflour if desired
  • Remove thyme sprig and serve up with roasted potatoes and peas, or french bread for authenticity - warn your guests that there's bay leaves in there.

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