Thursday, February 28, 2013

Month-of-Chicken: Faux au Vin

The party’s over. No more daily recipes. Today is the final recipe in the Month-of-Series. And me stuck with a bunch of chicken recipes I never got to share! Sigh!

Cooking and creating recipes has been an important part of my life ever since I can remember. Really. One of my very earliest memories is of cooking. To this day, I am a recipe and cookbook junkie.

I was thrilled to purchase a Julia Child cookbook soon after I was on my own. The first Julia Child recipe I ever made was her Coq au Vin. I had watched Julia regularly. Her recipes were so easy! So you spill a little wine in the process. No big deal. Julia always pulled together this fabulous meal that had me eager to buy her cookbook and become the Julia Child of Athens, Ohio.

Well! That didn’t happen.

Instead I converted, subverted, diverted, and otherwise messed up her recipes to simplify them for my limited repertoire of skills and access to ingredients.

Coq au Vin became Faux au Vin. Cherries Jubilee transformed to Cherries Jubilant. You get the idea. If only she knew, she woulda sued me big time for tarnishing her heritage.

Still, people seemed to enjoy the food. So here is my version of Coq au Vin.

Faux au Vin (serves 6-8)

4 strips of bacon
1 T olive oil
1 package baby bella mushrooms
1 bag frozen pearl onions
8 chicken thighs
1 c chicken broth
1 T tomato paste (or spaghetti sauce if you don’t have paste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 c red wine

In a dutch oven, brown the bacon. Remove and crumble. Set bacon aside in a medium bowl.

Add olive oil then the mushrooms to the dutch oven and cook over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Remove and add to the bacon bits.

Brown pearl onions. Remove and add to the mushroom and bacon bowl.

Add chicken thighs to the dutch oven. Brown both sides (about 5-7 minutes). Remove to a platter.

Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan to loosen all the bits of browned food. Add the tomato paste. Stir thoroughly to blend. Add garlic, bay leaf, and wine. Stir to blend.

Add contents of bacon, mushroom, and onions bowl to the liquid in the dutch oven. Turn heat to medium low.

Add chicken. Coat with the liquid. Cook over low heat for 1 hour. Remove chicken and keep warm. Turn heat to medium high and reduce the liquid until it thickens some (about 20 minutes). Add chicken back in and coat with liquid. Serve immediately with noodles.

DH’s Rating: 10 Tongues Up! Okay, he broke the rules, but he really loves this dish with his side of noodles and some crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

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