Season the chicken portions with salt and pepper and set to one side.
Heat the oil and butter in the casserole over a medium heat, add the bacon and fry until golden.
Stir in the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and continue to fry for 3–4 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Remove everything from the casserole with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind.
Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook until browned on all sides. Sprinkle over the flour and stir. Pour in the sherry and wine and cook until reduced, stirring to remove any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme and bring to the boil.
Return the bacon, shallots, garlic and mushrooms to the casserole, then reduce the heat to low, cover with the lid and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender.
Remove the lid from the casserole, take out the bay leaves and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding some water if the sauce is too dry, until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the cream and warm through just before serving.
NOTE: Ask your butcher to portion the chicken for you.
Le Creuset One-pot Cuisine: Classic Recipes for Casseroles, Tagines & Simple One-pot Dishes, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20, www.octopusbooks.co.uk
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