- One 4 to 5-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 1 stick butter
- EVOO, for drizzling
- 1 cup freshly peeled or defrosted drained pearl onions
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 ribs celery heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
- 1 baby fennel or 1/4 small bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- One 750 milliliter-bottle dry white wine, such as white Burgundy
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 2 to 3 cups chicken stock, if needed
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- Baguette, warmed
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, working in batches, and then transfer to a plate.
Add a drizzle of EVOO to the pot along with the remaining butter, onions, garlic, celery, fennel and leeks. Sprinkle the vegetables with some salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf and wine, return the chicken to the pot and cook, partially covered, over a low, rolling simmer, 30 minutes.
Stir in the creme fraiche, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, 30 minutes longer. If the liquid gets too low, add the chicken stock. Transfer the chicken to a warm platter, and add the mustard and chopped tarragon at the last minute. Serve with warm baguette.
Cook's Note: Cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature before reheating over medium heat.