Chicken: a wine/cream reduction

1 chicken, 3 1/2 lbs
1 cup heavy cream
white wine, 1/4 cup
black pepper
peanut oil
rice pilaf
2/3 cup medium grain rice
1 1/3 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 of a small onion, minced
black pepper
Carve the chicken into 8 pieces. Freeze the wings for later use. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the rice pilaf first, then move to the chicken. If all goes according to plan, both should be finished at the same time.

Melt 2 Tbl of butter in a medium-sized skillet or a small Dutch oven. Saute the bay leaves and onion in a little salt. Add the rice, sauteing it until the rice becomes opaque. Pitch in the chicken stock, salt and pepper. Cover tightly and simmer over very low heat for 18-20 minutes. Allow 10 minutes for rice to rest.

Eliminate the moisture from the chicken pieces with paper towels. Heat up a large aluminum or iron skillet over a medium flame, add oil and sear the chicken pieces on all sides until golden brown. After browning each side, season with salt and pepper. Degrease the pan. Roast the chicken until done (18-20 minutes), turning a few times during the cooking process.

Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer it to a large serving platter. Remove the chicken pieces from pan. Arrange them over the rice. Degrease the pan. De-glaze it with white wine. Scrape the brown bits (fond) from the bottom of pan with a spatula. Reduce the wine until it achieves a reddish hue and syrupy texture. Add the heavy cream and reduce it until the sauce is taut, but not so taut that a ribbon consistency forms or the sauce may break. Adjust seasonings. Ladle the sauce over the chicken and rice.

A pinch of ground cayenne pepper or nutmeg into the heavy cream sauce may be added for complexity.