Hello there– Some people like to ski down steep mountain slopes and others like to skydive or run marathons… But my preferred form of adrenaline rush is rustling up a meal on a Saturday and spending the evening with old comfortable friends, talking late around the table. What could be better than that?
That’s what we did last Saturday night. Often those kinds of evenings are over simple bowls of soup or a pizza. But this time I wanted to do something more. So I settled on this coq au vin– starting with Ina Garten’s recipe and adding bits and pieces of recipes I could google up. It was a fun project and was fine to share with friends. I think you’d like it too.
COQ AU VIN
4 slices thick bacon, cut to bits
3 boneless chicken breasts
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 tab. cornstarch
5 thyme sprigs
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 tab. butter
In a large skillet, cook the pieces of bacon until they are browned and crispy. Remove them from the pan. Leave about 2 tab. of bacon fat in the pan.
Cut the chicken breasts horizontally to make thinner filets. Season them well with a good amount of salt & pepper. Cook them in the hot skillet with the bacon fat, working in 2 bathes so you don’t crowd the pan. Remove them to a baking dish.
In the skillet, saute the carrot pieces for 3 or 4 minutes. Add in the chopped onion and cook until the onion just starts to brown. Add in the minced garlic and cook a ;minute more.
Pour the wine and chicken broth over the carrots and onions and bring to a strong simmer for 10 minutes. In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Stir it into the simmering liquid in the skillet until it thickens.
Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish and cover it with foil. Put it into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
While that is cooking sauce the sliced mushrooms in the butter.
When the chicken comes out of the oven, Sift the chicken pieces onto a pretty platter, mix he reserved bacon and cooked mushrooms into the sauce and pour it over the chicken. Serve it up nice and hot. Viola!
P.S. Part of the fun for me was setting it all out on new dishes! I have had a large William Sonoma Gifts card in the drawer for 2 years unspent. I do need a bundt pan, but would go there and couldn’t imagine paying $50 for a bundt pan!! I know. I’m a cheap-skate. So I just hung on to the card. But recently I found a luscious set of Hanukkah dishes there, beautifully crazed, blue bordered with little stars of David tucked in the design–on super after Hanukkah markdown. I couldn’t resist– so happily thankful for the beauty they lend to our table.