- Put the shallots or onions in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds, then drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a flameproof casserole. Add the bacon and fry for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until crispy. Remove with a draining spoon and set aside.
- Add the shallots to the casserole and fry, stirring often, over a moderately high heat for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Remove with a draining spoon and set aside.
- Add the mushrooms to the casserole, with the remaining ½ tbsp oil if needed, and fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring often, until golden.
- Return half of the bacon and shallots to the casserole. Place the chicken joints on top and sprinkle with the remaining bacon and shallots. Tie the herbs into a bouquet garni and add to the casserole with the stock and wine. Season generously with pepper.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the carrots and continue simmering over a low heat for a further 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender but still crisp.
- Lift out the chicken and arrange on a warmed platter. Strain the liquid into a saucepan. Add the bacon, mushrooms, shallots and carrots and keep warm.
- Put the bouquet garni back in the strained liquid, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Boil until the sauce is reduced to about 360 ml (12 fl oz). Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste. Add to the sauce, stirring, and simmer until thickened. Adjust the seasoning to taste and discard the bouquet garni. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
If you cannot find garlic-flavoured olive oil, use extra virgin olive oil and fry 1 garlic clove, crushed, with the mushrooms.
Cooked chicken breast with the skin has about six times more fat than without the skin. If you prefer, you can cook the chicken with the skin on to keep the moisture in and then remove the skin just before serving. Sprinkle a little paprika on top to add colour. * Red wine contains flavonoid compounds, which may protect against heart disease.
Each serving provides
Excellent source of copper, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6. Good source of iron, potassium, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, zinc. Useful source of folate, vitamin E.