The following dish is what I like to call a ‘miracle dish’. I have a few of them up my sleeve. It is super simple and easy to make, yet the result is a real gourmet, festive dish, and everyone is certain that you put in a lot of time and effort into making it. This is the dish that reaps compliments and sighs of pleasure from everybody. And this is the kind of dish that I love to make when we have company, or when I cook for holidays and Shabbat.
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
12 chicken drumsticks or thighs, skin on
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons beef bouillon (the powder)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
5 medium carrots
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside.
Arrange the chicken in a large Dutch oven and sprinkle the onion on top. Cook on medium high heat, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes, until you hear the chicken starting to sizzle.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of the mushroom water to the pot and discard of the rest of the water (make sure there is no sand left in the mushrooms). Chop the mushrooms coarsely and add to the pot. Season with beef bouillon, salt and pepper, cover the pot, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, peel and cut the carrots into rings, or 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
After 30 minutes of cooking, toss the chicken, add the carrots and the thyme sprigs, and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve the stew in the Dutch oven.
This rich flavored dish goes great with gnocchi, rice, mashed potatoes, or just good rustic bread to dip in the sauce.