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Chicken Stew with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions
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Yield: 6 Servings. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. In the same pot, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat. Add about a third of the chicken and brown well on both sides, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Brown the remaining chicken in 2 batches. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat. Return the chicken to the pot with any juice that has accumulated. Sprinkle the chicken with the flour and turn the pieces to coat them on both sides. Cook about 1 minute per side. Add the stock and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Scrape the bottom of the pot to dislodge any brown bits. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, reduce the heat and cook at a bare simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the small onions, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon butter, the sugar and just barely enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the onions are tender and the water has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring, until the onions are brown, about 7 minutes longer. Add the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Add the mushrooms, the onions with any liquid and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the chicken and simmer until the chicken is just done, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Serve topped with the fresh herbs.
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