Updated: Aug 27
Last June we decided that we were going to do a Home Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I had never heard about it before but I was overwhelmed with excitement that our home would forevermore be a sanctuary which Jesus reigns over. I have always wanted to build a home that imitated a little monastery, full of glorifying work, humble prayer, and Christ-centered growth in love and virtue. It sounds romantic but it has not come without many challenges and I have often felt immense strength from the Sacred Heart. Fully knowing that we cannot achieve that on our own merits, giving this home to the most self-sacrificing, beautiful heart of Jesus was the only way to go. We had a lovely, intimate ceremony last year with a dear priest friend and shared a meal afterwards with our loved ones. In celebrating the anniversary of our enthronement we rededicated ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (prayer after the recipe) and I made a more intentional meal in honor of the French nun that Jesus revealed his heart to. This traditional, classic French dish is one that is true to the region that St. Margaret Mary Alacoque came from! It made for a delicious dinner in celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus feast day and can also be used again on her feast day which is October 16th.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
1. 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or the traditional way by using a whole chicken cut into 10 pieces.
2. Kosher salt
3. Black pepper
4. 4-5 strips of bacon
5. Sliced mushrooms or baby bellas
6. 4 oz chopped onions or 6 oz pearl onions
7. 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
8. 2 cloves minced garlic
9. 1 tbsp tomato paste
10. 2 tbsp all purpose flour
11. 2 cups red wine, traditionally Burgundy or a full-bodied red wine like Shiraz or a Cabernet Sauvignon
12. 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
13. 1 tbsp brandy or rum
14. Small bunch thyme
15. 3 tbsp butter
16. Freshly chopped parsley for serving, optional
Let's get started! Before you begin cooking peel and cut your carrots, onions, mushrooms, and garlic then set it aside. Take your chicken out of the package and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Use as many chicken thighs as you have family members, hungry children, or guests.
Set that aside and get your cutting board, cut the bacon into 1" strips.
You can cook this in your dutch oven, no need to dirty more dishes than necessary. ;)
Cook until crispy and golden brown... I mean it when I say that this bacon almost didn't make it passed this part of the recipe.
Use a spatula to take the bacon out of the dutch oven and onto a paper plate or bowl lined with a paper towel.
In the same dutch oven or pot, brown the outside of the chicken. Work in batches and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Don't worry about cooking the chicken all the way through, we will get to that later.
Remove the chicken to a plate. Drain all but about 4-5 tablespoons of oil from the pot, you want a nice coating along the bottom for your veggies.
Grab your carrots...
and your onion...
and your mushrooms...
then dump them all into your dutch oven!
Cheater alert, I buy fresh, packaged mushrooms already sliced. AAllssooo, the traditional recipe calls for pearl onions but there's just something about them that I don't really like so I went with a smaller amount of white onion.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until they are golden.
Then add the garlic for about another minute, moving it around so as to not burn.
Put in one tablespoon of tomato paste and stir it around so that it spreads over the vegetables.
Next add two tablespoons all purpose flour and stir that in until the vegetables are coated.
Measure out 2 cups of wine for your dish and one cup of wine for yourself. Cheers!
Slowly pour the wine over your vegetables.
Now would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Then, measure and pour in 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth.
Next, measure out 1 tablespoon brandy and add to the pot. Since we didn't have brandy I went with a brandy substitute, rum!
Other substitutes...alcoholic version: bourbon or non alcoholic version: apple juice
Stir all your ingredients around until thoroughly combined and get your plate of browned chicken.
Put the chicken back in the dutch oven and sprinkle in half of the bacon. If you have more self-control then I do there will probably be more in your pot than mine.
Add in a few sprigs of thyme and sprinkle in a little more salt and pepper.
Stir around and bring to a boil.
Cover the dutch oven and place in the oven which should be at 350 degrees. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
After 20-25 minutes check the temperature of your chicken, if they have reached 165 degrees remove them from the pot and put them on a plate. Cover the chicken with foil to keep them warm.
Put your dutch oven back on the stove over medium heat and add in 3 tbsp butter and simmer until the sauce is thickened. This part of the process took about 15 minutes or so.
Once it has thickened plate your chicken and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle the rest of your bacon on top and add fresh parsley for plate appeal.
As a side you could do mashed or small roasted potatoes, a big green salad, and dinner rolls. Don't forget to pour yourself a fresh glass of red wine before you delight in this delicious meal.
Consecration of Families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thou didst reveal to the blessed Margaret Mary Thy desire to rule over Christian families; behold, in order to please Thee, we stand before Thee this day, to proclaim Thy full sovereignty over our family. We desire henceforth to live Thy life, we desire that the virtues, to which Thou hast promised peace on earth, may flower in the bosom of our family; we desire to keep far from us the spirit of the world, which Thou hast condemned. Thou art King of our hearts by our love of Thee alone, with which our hearts are on fire and whose flame we shall nourish by frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist. Be pleased, O Sacred Heart, to preside over our gathering together, to bless our spiritual and temporal affairs, to ward off all annoyance from us, to bless our joys and comfort our sorrows. If any of us has ever been so unhappy as to fall into the misery of displeasing Thee, grant that he may remember, O Heart of Jesus, that Thou art full of goodness and mercy toward the repentant sinner. And when the hour of separation strikes and death enters our family circle, whether we go or whether we stay, we shall all bow meekly before Thine eternal decrees. This shall be our consolation, to remember that the day will come, when our entire family, once more united in heaven, shall be able to sing of Thy glory and Thy goodness forever. May the immaculate Heart of Mary and the glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph vouchsafe to offer Thee this our act of consecration, and to keep the memory thereof alive in us all the days of our lives.
Glory to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father! Amen
For more information on Home Enthronements and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, check out this prayer companion that I created for you.
Keep in touch for more liturgical living recipes and prayer companions. Let me know how your dinner goes and share with me some of the things your family likes to do for the Sacred Heart of Jesus!