4 strips thick sliced bacon, diced
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, seasoned with salt and black pepper, about 3 lbs.
2 cups sliced leeks
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
1/2 lb. button mushrooms
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup brandy
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen pearl onions
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons flour
Cook bacon in Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Increase heat to medium high, and brown chicken in batches on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings and reduce heat to medium.
Sweat leeks, carrots and mushrooms in drippings until leeks are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook 2 minutes.
Off heat, deglaze pot with brandy. Return pot to burner; simmer until brandy is nearly evaporated. Add reserved chicken, wine, broth, onions, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer stew partially covered, 20 minutes.
Mash together butter and flour in bowl. Stir mixture into stew and simmer until thickened. Remove thyme before serving.
Garnish each serving with bacon.
Makes 8 servings