Barefoot! Coq Au Vin
A season filled with such joy is also filled with unending errands, parties and dinners. Tonight I’ll be making a double-header at my office Christmas party (yes, we still call it a Christmas party!) and the Joint Services Military Ball. Sometime this afternoon I’ll be transformed from a black-clad girl to a princess in red. Oh, what joy! (can you hear the sarcasm?)
Try as I might, I could not back out of the ball. The Husband wouldn’t hear of it. He doesn’t expect much, but unfortunately a woman on his arm at this silly thing is a requirement. I’d rather be anywhere else than at a military ball with a bunch of giddy little girls wearing last year’s prom dress. I’m too old for this. Give me a real military ball and I’ll be happy to go (but still be bored).
Anywho, this week’s barefoot recipe was chosen by Bethany of This Little Piggy Went to the Market. This recipe was absolutely delicious. I even tried bribing The Husband with this dinner to forget he was married tonight… alas, it did not work. Of course, I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I improvised a little.
Coq Au Vin (Cat Style)
Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
2 T olive oil
4 oz bacon or pancetta, diced (I used bacon)
1 (3-4 lb) chicken, cut into 8ths (I used boneless, skinless breast)
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb carrots, cut diagonally in 1″ pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 t chopped garlic
1/4 c Cognac or brandy (I used one of those airplane bottles… no idea how much that was)
1/2 bottle good dry wine, such as Burgandy (I used a white Pinot Grigio because that’s what was open)
1 c good chicken stock, preferably homemade (straight out of a bottle, dude.)
10 fresh thyme sprigs (I used about 1 T dried)
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided (I used 1 T)
1 1/2 T flour
1/2 lb frozen small whole onions (I just realized I forgot to use these)
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced (we don’t do fungus… sorry, we used green beans instead)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add bacon and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. When bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove chicken to a plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onion, 2 t salt and 1 t pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat (I thought this was a lot of salt so I left it out) for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
Mash butter and flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions (or green beans while totally forgetting about that pesky bag of frozen onions!). In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 T butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned (or boycott fungus like me and save yourself from more dishes!) Add to the stew. Bring the stew to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.