A Revised Chicken Maxengo
I say revised because this is one of my earliest Reluctant Gourmet recipes. After making it for ten people recently, I realized I would prepare Chicken Maxengo differently from the original recipe. This new version is much easier because of added shortcuts and more precise descriptions.
This is a great recipe to practice saute and braise since both techniques are used. I tripled the recipe and served it to ten people at a dinner party, but this recipe is for four to six people depending on what kind of eaters they are.
My wife and I wanted to prepare something we could prep beforehand with minimal fussing once our guests arrived. Once everything is prepped and in the pot, you can relax and spend time with your friends. If you have any qualms about serving chicken at a dinner party, get over it.
My friends all loved it and said they would be delighted if served this in a restaurant, my test that the dish is a hit. We "gourmeted" the dinner by serving crab cakes as an appetizer and fancy fresh green beans (haricots verts), rice pilaf and sautéed spinach with roasted pine nuts.
The original recipe comes from GatewayGourmet, a site about making restaurant-quality soups and sauces at home. They also promote some of my favorite stock reductions, including Glace de Poulet, a roasted chicken stock reduction.
You make your own Glace at home by reducing chicken stock in half, but I recommend checking out these products.
The recipe calls for one whole chicken, about 3 pounds or 2 ½ pounds of chicken breasts & chicken thighs, bone-in or boneless with skin on or off - your choice. If you want more flavor, go with the bone in and skin on. If you want easier prep and less fuss when eating, go boneless & skinless.
If you are using a whole chicken, cut it into pieces and season with salt and pepper. You will only be using the breasts, thighs, and legs. You can use the rest to make a nice homemade chicken soup or chicken stock.
If the chicken breasts are huge, I recommend you cut them in half with a cleaver or a large chef's knife. If you are using chicken pieces, wash them off, pat dry with paper towels, and then season with salt and pepper.
Chicken Maxengo Recipe
- 1 whole chicken about 3 pounds, cut up into pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- flour for dredging
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 12 pearl onions peeled
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 roma tomatoes peeled, seeded, and crushed or 1 - 14½ oz can of crushed tomatoes (easier)
- 2 cups chicken stock reduced by half
- 1 bouquet garni
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup mushrooms quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour. Be sure to knock off any extra flour from the chicken pieces, or you will end up with clumps of flour in the pan. I just hit two pieces together to remove excess.
- Heat up a large saute or fry pan over medium-high heat. The size of the pan is essential. It has to be big enough to hold all the chicken and other ingredients, including the stock.
- You may have to saute the pieces a few at a time so you don't crowd the pan, but in the end, all the ingredients have to go back into the pan. And make sure you have a tight-fitting cover for the pan.
- Heat the pan over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, then add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Let the pan get hot but not smoking. Brown the chicken pieces. You want the skin to brown for appearances. The actual cooking of the chicken will come when you braise it.
- Add the garlic, onions, tomato puree, tomato paste, reduced chicken stock, and bouquet garni. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender. This is the braising process.
- While the chicken is simmering, sauté the mushrooms in the remaining butter. When they turn brown and the released juices have evaporated, add wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add them to the simmering chicken.
- When the 40 minutes are up, you should be ready to serve. If you are not ready to eat, no big deal. Reduce the heat to a low simmer or turn the heat off completely.
- When you are ready to plate, spoon some rice onto the plate, top it with a piece of chicken and then spoon some of the incredible mushroom-filled sauce over both. Garnish with chopped parsley, plate a vegetable, and serve.
- This one is a keeper.
Some of My Favorite Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Baked in Cornbread Recipe
- Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Plums Potatoes and Onions
- Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
- Chicken Mushroom and Spinach Comfort Food Recipe
- Southern California Style Chicken with Rice and Beans Recipe
- Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Artichoke Hearts Recipe
- Simple Chicken - Tomato - Pasta Recipe
- Chicken Korma Recipe