Wine- Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta

Cover Recipe- Fine Cooking, Wine- Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta: Feb/Mar 2009

Of all the cooking magazines out there, Fine Cooking is definitely one you can always count on for great recipes.  They do a ton of testing and they have fabulous contributors too.  Recipes and methods are always described very well, and photos accompany everything.  They’re not always easy-to-make recipes but if they’re more complicated, the instructions are there.  If you can hack the $29.95 yearly subscription fee for 6 issues, it’s worth subscribing.

January/February food magazine covers sometimes don delicious comfort food intending to attract cooks who need warming up on a wintry day.  This rustic-looking dish- Wine-Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta– is one of those covers.  It’s from last year’s Feb/Mar issue, and it’s a cover that I hadn’t forgotten.  Chicken thighs are braised with shallots and carrots, and they’re coated in a beautiful, brown pancetta sauce.  My sister made this one for our family over the Christmas holidays. It’s similar to Coq a Vin but using Riesling instead of red wine.

Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe…

Print Print Recipe

Wine- Braised Chicken with Shallots and Pancetta

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 min

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 min


1/4 cup olive oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
4 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 lbs)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
7 ounces pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 heaping cup)
8 medium shallots, lobes separated, large loaves halved through the core
4 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices, large slices cut in half
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups dry fruity white wine, preferably Alsatian or German dry Riesling
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven to 300 degrees F.
2.  Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a 7 to 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Arrange the chicken skin-side-down in the pot in a snug single layer and sear, flipping once, until golden brown all over 10-13 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.
3.  Cook the pancetta in the pot until well browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off and discard the fat.
4.  Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in the pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the shallots, carrots and fennel, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until its aroma subsides, 1 to 2 minutes.
5.  Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf together with twine (or tie them in a small cheesecloth sachet).  Add the herb bundle to the pot, along with the wine.  Simmer briskly, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits.  Add the broth and return the chicken and pancetta to the pot, arranging the chicken in a single layer.  Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven.
6.  Braise the chicken until the meat is fork-tender and just starting to come away from the bone, 35-45 minutes.
7.  Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon and tent with foil.  Discard the herb bundle.  Bring the sauce to boil over high heat and reduce to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.


Make Ahead:  This dish may be made up to 2 days ahead.  Let the sauce cool before adding the chicken and vegetables and refrigerating.  Reheat gently over medium-low heat before serving.
*You might be tempted to use skinless thighs for this recipe but I'm afraid it won't turn out the same.  The skin-on thighs give the dish the extra fat needed to make it such a fabulous dish.
*Pancetta can usually be found at your deli's meat counter.  Just tell them you want 7 ounces of thick-cut slices, then cut them into diced pieces at home.

Source: Fine Cooking, Feb/Mar 2009

The results:

*This recipe wasn’t difficult to make but it was very time consuming.  My sister worked for quite some time (seemed like at least a couple of hours from start to finish), but it was well worth the work.  The chicken was very tender, and all of the flavors came through wonderfully. It was a warm and comforting meal. I absolutely loved it- I’d make this recipe again in a heartbeat.  It would be perfect for a Gourmet Dinner Party.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

YES!  I loved everything about this recipe and the cover conveys a hearty meal, which is the focus of the issue.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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26 Responses to “Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart”

  1. 1

    Tieghan — October 7, 2013 @ 5:46 am

    Holy Moly this is such an incredible tart! The bourbon, chocolate and pumpkin combo is so my thing. Plus, it is gorgeous! Perfect for Thanksgiving!

  2. 2

    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — October 7, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    It looks so pretty on top of sounding delicious.

  3. 3

    Michelle — October 7, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ll make this in November too!

  4. 4

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — October 7, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    I’d leave off the pumpkin seeds, just because they don’t float my boat. Switch that over to toffee bits, and it sounds like heaven. I love boozy desserts.

  5. 5

    Faith — October 9, 2013 @ 5:26 am

    I am so smitten by this isn’t not even funny. Everything about it is calling my name!

  6. 6

    Joanne Eats Well With Others | Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart — October 10, 2013 @ 4:34 am

    […] find your eyes bugging out of your head at just the thought of such a thing, then head on over to Culinary Covers for my post and the […]

  7. 7

    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me — October 10, 2013 @ 5:56 am

    Caramel recipes that call for butter make me nervous– I have flubbed them up one too many times! BUT. I think you have convinced me and also my sister will love me forever if I make her this. I had no idea you all formed this blog! What a super idea! 5 gold stars and a handful of chocolate chips.

  8. 8

    Abbie @ Needs Salt — October 10, 2013 @ 6:52 am

    Wow, this tart is outstanding! You did such a gorgeous job with this, Joanne! Simply fabulous.

  9. 9

    Dan from Platter Talk — October 10, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    Beautifully done! I’ll have another slice, please!

  10. 10

    Jessie — October 10, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    I will take the WHOLE tart, thanks :)

  11. 11

    Ruthy @ Omeletta — October 10, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Ahh– so THIS is the pepita topping deliciousness!! I can’t get over how good that sounds. Yes to every pumpkin flavor imaginable this year, I can’t wait to check this issue out.

  12. 12

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — October 10, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    My eyes definitely bugged out when I saw this! It looks so good!

  13. 13

    Meg — October 10, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! The cornmeal crust definitely calls to me.

  14. 14

    Veronica — October 10, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

    Wow, what an awesome combo with the cornmeal crust and the bourbon caramel with the pumpkin. To die for!

  15. 15

    Reeni — October 10, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    I had to come over so I could drool some more! This would be perfect for Thanksgiving! Or this weekend. . .

  16. 16

    Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking — October 10, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

    Oh my goodness this pie looks amazing!!

  17. 17

    Tracey — October 10, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    It’s such a gorgeous tart and the fact that it combines so many awesome ingredients just makes me want it even more!

  18. 18

    Dawn @ Valley Computer Solutions. — October 10, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    This looks like the perfect dessert for the fall season. I loved the candied pumpkin seeds.

  19. 19

    Kelster — October 11, 2013 @ 1:36 am

    you’re missing a unit measurement for the cream cheese.

  20. 20

    suzie waclawski — October 11, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    I am not sure how much cream cheese goes into this 4-8oz or just 4oz

    • Joanne Bruno replied: — October 11th, 2013 @ 9:36 am

      So sorry about that!! I updated it – it should read 4 oz.

  21. 21

    Bev Sonmor — October 12, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

    I am so disappointed in my bourbon caramel pumpkin tart. I just finished making it for tomorrow’s thanksgiving dinner, I’m having 8 for dinner and am ashamed to have to serve it. The caramel topping took at least twice as long to come to the right thickness, and the amount was so pitiful, I would need to at least double it to get coverage for the top. I used the 1/3 cup amount for the bottom, and was shocked to see the Pitiful amount left for the topping. I will have to serve it as is. I swirled what was there and it’s pretty awful! This is the first recipe that has not lived up to your reputation; I’ve been receiving your magazine for about 4years and always look forward to making at least one recipe, which always turns out, until now! Sincerely Bev sonmor

    • Joanne Bruno replied: — October 13th, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

      Hi Bev! I’m so sorry you had so much trouble with the caramel!! Just to clarify, we are just a recipe review site and have no affiliation with Fine Cooking at all whatsoever and did not actually have any part in the recipe writing ourselves. That being said, caramel can be tricky to make and I generally fail 9 times out of 10, even with a good recipe. It’s always hard to interpret how thick is the “right thickness” since it does thicken as it cools. In the end, I had about 1 cup of caramel after all the reducing and thickening so maybe aim for that next time?

  22. 22

    Amy B — October 13, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    thanks so much for reviewing this. That magazine jumped off into my cart as well for the same reason. I was planning on making it for Thanksgiving and am glad to hear that it is as delicious as it looks

  23. 23

    Foodiewife — October 19, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    I subscribe to the digital version of Fine Cooking, and when I saw this gorgeous tart I decided I wanted to make it. You beat me to it. Great job, and I’m glad to know it’s worth every fat gram. I don’t care. Pumpkin and caramel…be still my heart.

  24. 24

    Stuff I've Gotta Share and You've Gotta See | Recipe Girl — October 22, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    […] is what’s been happening on my other blog- Culinary Covers- the last 2 weeks! >> Bourbon- Caramel Pumpkin Tart (I’m thinking this is a “Thanksgiving dessert” possibility) Payday Peanut […]

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