Its a very good thing I am going to kick boxing tomorrow. Tonight’s dinner was amazing. Coq Au Vin. I think my children are going to grow up thinking everyone eats like this. Woe to the girl my son chooses to marry, lucky dogs will be the beaus of my daughters!
Its a cold, late winter snow storm. What a perfect day to spend in the kitchen, filling the house with smells of bacon, onions, red wine, fried chicken….
you chop your bacon into “lardons”, then simmer for 10 minutes, and blanch quickly. This helps to give that hint of richness of bacon to your sauce, without over powering it.
after the blanching, dry them and fry in butter.
the trick to peeling these small “boiling onions” is to cut and “x” on the root end, drop into boiling water for 2 min and then quickly toss into ice water. The peels come right off. Then you brown them in oil and butter.
cover and simmer after adding red wine, OR you could use brown stock, brown sauce, and a bouquet garni of thyme, bay leafe and parsley.
next, brown the chicken in the fat from the bacon, then add bacon back to pan. pour 4oz of cognac and ignite with a match (I singed some arm hairs on this one) then once the alcohol has burned off, add 3 cups of red wine, and enough brown stock or brown sauce to cover the chicken. Add some minced garlic, 1 TBSP tomato paste, some thyme and bay leaves and cover and simmer for 20 min, until chicken is cooked through. I put my lid on at this point and got dressed and went outside with the kids. We played on the lake for 2 hrs! My chicken was good and tender by the time we got back in the house, but we had SO much fun!
I LOVE this pan. I can fit a whole 6.5lb cut up chicken in it, no problem. It is simmering away with Coq Au Vin inside..yum! When the chicken is cooked through, take it out and set aside (keep warm) reduce the sauce by 1/2. Then make a silky paste from 2 TBSP butter and 3 TBSP flour. Stir it into the reduced sauce and whisk to blend. Your sauce will thicken and lightly coat the back of a spoon. Arrange your chicken on a platter, in the pan or on a casserole and baste with the sauce. Add the onions you browned earlier and voila, Coq Au Vin!
Yesterday the girls and I got home late after a cake decorating 4-h meeting
and doing our neighbor’s wood, so dinner was quick. We had french omelets with broccoli almondine. The omelets were quick, and easy and I used up some stuff from the fridge. I sauteed some red pepper, onions, green onions and some shittake mushrooms. To make french omelets, you put some butter into a HOT saute pan and just before the foam of the butter stops, and the before the butter browns, you add your whipped eggs. Shake the pan back and forth and your omelet should be loose. Once it starts to thicken, you can add your filling, tilt your pan more than 20 degrees and give it some quick jerks and your omelet will begin to roll over on itself. The broccoli almondine was a snap. Steam your broccoli, then melt some butter in a saute pan and just before the foam stops, add some garlic and sliced almonds. Cook until the almonds just begin to brown and then pour over your broccoli. The almonds were excellent this way. They had a great flavor and the crunch was perfect. It made our omelets special, not just breakfast for dinner.
the top plate here has the filling of peppers and onions inside the omelet and on top as a garnish…
Tomorrow I am hoping to experiment with savory crepes with a chicken filling…..
OH! I figured out the secret of the cabbage rolls! How to keep them from continuing to tear after you have cut the thick stem….DON’T!!!!! Yep, that’s right. DON’T cut the thick stem out, especially if you are using savoy cabbage. Its more delicate than the red and green variety. You TRIM the thick stem, like shaving it down some. Duh! I have in my living room, for the past few days in fact and definitely when I decided to try the stuffed cabbage, the current issue of Bon Appetite Magazine. I just finished reading it this afternoon, and in the back, near the end, they have step by step pictures of making stuffed cabbage rolls. They show the prep work of shaving down the thickness of the step, not trimming it OUT of the leaf….duh….NOW I know….