Don’t say we didn’t warn you. This succulent dish has been known to result in marriage proposals. You might want to get a manicure before serving, just in case.
The deep flavors of the bacon, wine and maple syrup touch the soul for an incredibly comforting meal just right for a mid-winter night and pairs beautifully with Pinot Noir. We recently enjoyed this dish with Bryn Mawr Vineyards 2016 Estate Pinot Noir. Pan searing the chicken breast crisps up the skin and seals in juices for unbelievably moist meat. The best part is that it only takes about 30 minutes to whip up this stunner, but we can keep that between just us.
Vineyard Vixen Tip
Put a bottle of sparkling wine, such as Iron Horse Vineyards Wedding Cuvee in the refrigerator to chill in case the conversation turns matrimonial or just because bubbles are delicious and fun.
Preparation 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
3 Strips thick sliced nitrate free bacon cut into 1” pieces.
2 Bone-in Organic Chicken Breasts (definitely with the skin on, that’s the whole point!)
6 large cremini mushrooms cut in ¼’s
1 c. frozen pearl onions
Salt & Pepper
1 c. dry red wine, such as pinot noir
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 Tbs butter (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Render bacon pieces in large oven proof skillet over medium high heat. I really like cherry wood smoked bacon for this recipe, but you can use whatever you prefer. While bacon is rendering, place chicken breasts on plate skin side up and pat dry. It is important to ensure the chicken is completely defrosted before cooking. Working with slightly frozen meat will increase cooking time and often results in tougher texture. Season chicken breasts liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add chicken to skillet, skin side down. Cook for 5 - 8 minutes until skin is crisp, golden brown and easily lifts from pan.
Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms and fetch the pearl onions from the freezer. Yes, you can use fresh pearl onions, but I have found these frozen gems to be just as delicious without the hassle of peeling those tiny little orbs. Flip chicken over (skin side up) and add the mushrooms and onions to skillet. Transfer skillet to pre-heated oven. Set timer for 25 minutes.
Prepare your side dishes, put on something nice, set the table, or read a book while chicken is cooking.
When chicken is done, remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken breasts to a plate to rest. Do not cover as you want the skin to remain crispy. Place skillet on burner set to medium – medium high heat. USE HOT MITTS, the pan will be screaming hot by the way.
Deglaze pan with 1 c. dry red wine. You know the one you opened earlier and probably drank half of already? That's the one you want to use. You might also want to open another bottle now. Be sure to scrape up the flavorful bits and bring mixture to low bubble. Add maple syrup and let bubble until slightly reduced and sauce thickens. Next, add butter to the sauce giving it a little stir to combine. The butter adds depth and gives the sauce a velvety finish.
Plate chicken breasts on individual plates topping with mushrooms, onions, and bits of bacon. Finish by drizzling the pan sauce over each serving.
Side dish suggestions: Serve with sauteed green bean & carrots and your favorite wild rice blend. Grains not your thing? Not a problem, try herby caulirice pilaf or mashed cauliflower instead.