Poulet a la Bonne Femme translates literally to “chicken of the good wife.” I love this recipe because it is a one pot meal that is easy to cook and assemble ahead and then place in the oven when your guests arrive and voila, dinner is served. It is the perfect recipe for my gluten free friends too. No roux!
Before I met my husband Gayden, my friends Nancy and Debbie and I had what we considered to be a gourmet cooking club called “Les Trois Petits Cochons,” the Three Little Pigs. We lured cute guys into our apartments with the promise of a good meal and an abundance of cheap wine. Eventually, our strategy worked and we were all successful. I am not sure whether or not it was our skill in the kitchen, our brilliant and engaging conversation, or the enticing aromas and flavors of the Poulet a la Bonne Femme that helped us to find our perfect partners.
I do know that the combination of the smoky bacon and subtle, earthy, and almost minty thyme paired with chicken and small new potatoes blend together to make a wonderful aromatic one-pot meal. The chicken produces its own natural juices as it bakes. These juices trickle down and penetrate all of the ingredients in the pot, steaming the potatoes, flavoring the onions and mushrooms, and blending with the other seasonings.
The chicken is browned in the bacon grease and removed. The remainder of the ingredients are cooked separately. The potatoes are browned and removed and then the onions and mushrooms are sautéed until tender.
All of the ingredients are reassembled and layered in a deep ovenproof pot. Some people like to add a little white wine to the pot before baking. Place a lid on the pot so that the chicken will produce its own juices and baste itself.
Once the chicken is removed from the oven, the green onions and parsley can be sprinkled over the beautifully browned chicken to complete your perfect meal.