Pollo alla Campagna (Chicken with Tomato Sauce and Bacon)

Serves 4.

Ingredients

  •  3 pounds chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced lean bacon, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 4 medium-sized firm ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (see bigos)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

Instructions

Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels.  Season on all sides with salt and pepper.  Coat with flour and shake to remove any excess.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil over high heat.  Once the bubbling from the butter subsides, brown the chicken well, in batches.  Add more oil and/or butter as needed.  Remove to a plate once the chicken is well browned.
Pour off the fat and cook the bacon, stirring frequently, over medium heat until crisped and brown and all fat has rendered.  Use a slotted spoon and remove the bacon to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
Add the shallots to the pan and cook about 3 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and wine, stir occasionally, over high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Return the chicken and bacon and turn to coat with sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer partially covered 35 to 40 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
Arrange chicken pieces on a platter and pour the sauce over top.