1 whole chicken, approx. 4-6 lbs., cut in half
1 lb. bacon diced or pork belly, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped white onion
1 T. chopped garlic
1 carrot, sliced into 1" long pieces
3 Russet or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2" cubes
1 cup heavy-bodied red wine (Pinot Noir or Cabernet)
1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Prepare the chicken halves by dredging lightly in salted and peppered cornstarch.
3. In a deep, cast iron skillet, fry the bacon or pork belly pieces until the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon or pork belly and place onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
4. Using the rendered bacon fat, fry the chicken halves until lightly browned. Remove and place onto a plate.
5. Add the garlic to the skillet, saute for two minutes. Add the heavy-bodied red wine and chicken stock. Place chicken halves into the skillet, then add celery, onion, potatoes, carrot, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Add the bacon or pork belly pieces.
6. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, then bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is tender.
7. If desired, you can make additional "gravy" by gently removing the chicken halves and vegetables from the skillet, then adding 1/4 cup more red wine. Simmer until the alcohol is cooked off. Add flour or cornstarch if you'd like to thicken the gravy.