My precious mother cooked big Sunday lunches after church most every Sunday. In fact, I don’t have one single memory of going to a restaurant for Sunday lunch my entire childhood. We did have Sunday lunch at church several times a year. We gathered at Mama Lena’s house a few times a year with the extended family, and my aunts would have us over for lunch on occasion. The remaining 40 Sundays, Mother cooked. We were always starving by the time we got home from church, but somehow Mama got everything heated up pretty fast. Often times, I will have a little snack waiting for my crew when we walk in from church, and it is usually enough to hold everyone off until I can get everything warmed. It might be a little pimento cheese and crackers, or maybe some onion dip and chips.
It’s very easy to get in a rut for Sunday lunch, so I’m always looking for some new ideas. This chicken dish worked very well for Sunday lunch. I cooked my dish the required hour before we left for church. I then took the lid off the chicken and turned my oven to off. When I arrived back home, I removed the chicken from the oven, heated it back up on the stove top and continued following the directions. It was perfect.
Baked Chicken Thighs in a White Wine Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 count package bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
5 pieces of bacon, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. You will need a large oven safe skillet with a lid for this dish. Heat the olive oil to high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet skin side down and cook until the skin is golden brown. Turn the chicken and cook a couple more minutes. Remove the chicken to a reserve pan. Drain off the extra oil from the skillet, add the butter and reduce to medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook just a couple of minutes before adding in the bacon. Cook until brown. Add in the wine and bring to a simmer. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen all the good stuff. Add the chicken broth, thyme and the reserved chicken thighs. Add the lid and transfer to the oven for 1 hour. Remove the lid and bake for 15 more minute. You want the skin on your thighs to be brown and crispy. Remove from oven. Remove the chicken to your reserve pan and whisk in the whipping cream. Check for salt and pepper and bring to a simmer allowing the sauce to thicken. (You may want to whisk in a tablespoon of corn starch if you like the sauce a little thicker) Add the chicken back to the sauce and serve over rice or potatoes. The sauce is fabulous!