Monday, May 31, 2010

Coq Au Vin

Admittedly, this dish was a result of cart before the horse.  I had been drooling over cast iron enamel wear for as long as I can remember, but I was pretty sure I'd have to get married again before I was going to see any Le Crueset on MY stove.  Then my girl Martha came through... that's right, Martha Stewart.  I knew she maxed out her cool factor when she baked with Snoop.  Anyhow, I found Martha's enamel wear on sale at Macy's - 99 dollar pot for 59 bucks?  Thank you sir, may I have another???

Any. How.  What better dish to christen my new pot with?  I read a half dozen different versions, took the pieces I liked and taa daaaaaah!  Coq Au Vin ala Chi!

5 thighs, skin on bone in
5 drumsticks, skin on bone in
1 bottle of burgundy wine
A chunk of slab bacon (8 to 12 oz, diced)
chicken broth
baby carrots
cipollini onions (peeled)
brown mushrooms (quartered)
olive oil
bay leaf
rosemary (or herbs de provence mix)
kosher salt
truffle oil
green beans

The night before:
smash a couple of garlic cloves, tie off the bay leaf and thyme and herbs, place it a large bowl or pot - this is going to be the start of the marinade. Add the bottle of wine and place chicken into the marinade mix. Let it soak over night or longer in the fridge.

Make the polenta according to package instructions - feel free to be creative with additions - peas for example would be nice, or parsley, maybe some diced pancetta. Remove from heat, and place into either a loaf pan or cake pan, top with a splash or two of truffle oil and refrigerate overnight to set.

To prepare the dish:
Take chicken and herbs and garlic out of the marinade and set aside for later use. Let the chicken drain on a paper towel - pat dry

In a cast iron dutch oven or other oven safe pot heat sauté bacon till brown,remove from the pan, then add olive oil and sauté onions until they start to brown at the edges. Remove from heat.

Do the same with the mushrooms, then repeat with carrots. Set aside all of the browned veggies.

Brown chicken in the same pot, turning once to ensure even color - will probably need to do it in batches. Once all of the chicken is lightly browned, remove from the heat. Add butter and place all of the veggies and herbs back in the pot, put chicken on top and add the marinade liquid - the liquid shouldn't quite cover the chicken pieces. Salt to taste, and heat once to near boiling, then remove from heat and place pot in oven with the lid on.

Bake for 90 to 120 min at 325 degrees or until the chicken is falling off of the bone.

to serve;
Slice polenta and grill or pan fry until crisp and golden
arrange on plate with one or two pieces of chicken, a scoop of veggies and a serving of green beans (to make green bean bundles, blanch the chives and use them to tie a couple of beans together)

Fluffy things (Bread Pudding, title courtesy of Pam)

This is where it started- I made these for a dinner party and found myself thinking they were cute and deserved to have a photo!  So I snapped a picture and here you are.  Like everything else I cook I encourage you to be brave and add ingredients that you like - for example, this would be awesome with a healthy dose of orange liquor in the mix, or coconut rum  perhaps?

Things you need;
Ginormous mixing bowl, muffin tin (s), cookie sheet, big spoon, and a whisk, bread knife (if you're like me and prefer the bread chunks to be uniform)

Loaf of brioche
couple cups of cream or whole milk (3 - 4 ish depending on how much bread you have - remember it's easier to add more than to take away some)
sugar (about a half cup - again easier to add than to take away)
splash of vanilla
cinnamon (teaspoon or so depending on your affinity for cinnamon)

If adding rum or orange liquor, make sure to take away the same amount of milk - the liquor should replace the milk.

Tear or cube the bread the night before, spread it on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil and let it sit in a cold over over night to dry a bit

Heat your oven to 325 degrees

In your ginormous bowl, whisk your eggs. Mix in the milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Add bread and stir while the bread absorbs the liquid. The bread should be saturated, not soaking to where it falls apart.

Divide the mix into several muffin tins, and bake until they're crisp and golden (about 20-25 min, depends on your oven.) till they're just crisp and golden at the edges.

alternate options;
instead of milk or cream use eggnog - reduce the sugar and cinnamon if you do and you can add lavender and or lemon grass for a fragrant little twist

Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a dollop of chocolate syrup!