This dish was inspired by the Frango ao Vinho Branco my uncle Mateus recently made for a large family gathering. I wanted to try to make something as flavorful but a complete and well balanced one-pot-dish meal.
1Marinate chicken breast halves in 2 cups wine for 12 minutes.
2While chicken breast halves are marinating: peel and dice carrots and potatoes into small (pea sized) pieces. Peel garlic. Chop chives.
3After 12 minute marinade, remove chicken breast halves from wine and season with salt on both sides.
4Pour the wine marinade and 1 cup water into a stockpot. Add garlic, pepper corns, bay leaves, carrots, and potatoes. Cook covered at medium heat for about 15 minutes.
5When temperature is at 190 degrees or more and potatoes and carrots are nearly cooked, nestle chicken pieces into the vegetables. Make sure chicken is completely submerged. Use a plate to weigh down chicken, if necessary. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes on low heat. Without removing lid, turn heat off let sit on stove for another 6 minutes, covered.
6Remove chicken breast from stockpot. Place in covered dish so it can stay warm. Allow vegetables to cook a few minutes longer on high heat if needed. Add the peas when carrots and potatoes are near completely tender. Cover the vegetables and let cook 4 minutes or until peas are done.
7With a slotted spoon or mesh spatula, remove vegetables and place in covered serving dish with chicken. Discard bay leaves, garlic, and pepper corns. Keeping the wine sauce in the stockpot, return pot to the stove and heat on high uncovered for 6 minutes.
8Stir in the crème fraiche and butter. Continue to heat on high uncovered for another 6 minutes in order to reduce to the consistency of a thin cream soup. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
9Pour sauce over cooked vegetables and chicken. Garnish with chopped chives and serve.
Maxime Bilet, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine, says that instead of waiting up to two hours to decant wine the traditional way, you can improve the taste of wine in seconds with what he calls "hyperdecanting." Aerating wine this fast is great for bolder, younger wines, but Bilet notes that this technique probably shouldn't be used on more delicate wines like a 1982 Lafite.