Coq Au Vin (My version)

You all know that Coq au vin is just a fancy French way of saying “Chicken Stew”, right? ¬†IDK… many of my friends don’t know that so forgive me when I seem like I need to be “Captain Obvious” ūüėČ

I’ve mentioned before that my Mom’s family is French. ¬†NOT the sophisticated eloquent French that you might be picturing… more like the poor kind. ¬†I’m proud of that though because along with being poor comes the need to be inventive. ¬†We’re ALL inventive when it comes to food. ¬†My grandmother had 10 children and that’s a LOT of mouths to feed when you only have 1 chicken! ¬†Grandma used to go out to her yard and choose a chicken, chop it’s head off and take the feathers off. ¬†Yummy huh? ¬†Thank GOD I never had to SEE it, much less do it. ¬†I’d probably never eat meat if I had to witness something like that. ¬†Coq au vin is one of those recipes that you can make your own and it’s inexpensive. ¬†It just takes a little bit of time.

Here’s my way… which, BTW, has been SO simplified but SO tasty! ¬†This is what we had tonight. ¬†I have to be in the right mood to want to go through a little trouble and tonight, while it’s cold and rainy, I’m in the right mood!

Coq Au Vin (Michelle’s Way)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 to 3 lbs chicken pieces (breasts, thighs or drumsticks) OR a whole chicken, skinned and cut up (I used 3.5 lbs chicken breasts, boneless)

2 TBSP cooking oil

salt and pepper

2 large vidalia or sweet onions, cut into 8 pieces each

1 1/4 cups Burgundy

4 medium, thinly sliced carrots

1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

1/4 cup chicken broth (or water)

1 TBSP dried parsley

1 TBSP fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp dried marjoram

2 tsp dried crushed thyme

1 bay leaf

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb smoked bacon, chopped and cooked crisp, bacon grease reserved

5 TBSP flour

2 TBSP butter

16 oz cooked Penne pasta for serving

Directions:

Cook bacon until crisp. ¬†It’s easier if you chop the bacon while it’s still a little frozen. ¬†Set aside.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown chicken pieces on all sides in hot oil, about 15 minutes.  Drain fat.  Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.  Add onions, mushrooms, bacon, carrots, Burgundy, chicken broth, dried parsley, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer and cover.  Cook for around 50 minutes or until chicken is fork tender.

Take chicken and vegetables out of pot and set aside.  Discard bay leaf.

Heat reserved bacon grease and the 2 TBSP butter until hot.  Add flour and stir.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Once roux (bacon grease and flour) is made, add mixture to the juices from chicken.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.  Once thickened, cook for 1 minute more.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve over pasta.

*This recipe makes very generous servings for 6 people. ¬†The bacon makes this even more tasty than the other recipes I’ve tried. ¬†Enjoy!

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Salty Caramel and Pecan and Oatmeal Cookies (OR, When you come to my door, bring cookies!)

I had a nice little surprise visit from my mother a few minutes ago. ¬†Truthfully, her visits can be a little stressful for me due to her constant judgement of whatever it is that I’m doing at the moment BUT¬†NOT this time! ¬†THIS time, she brought cookies! ¬†VERY tasty cookies. ¬†Mom got the recipe from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/salty-caramel-and-pecan-oatmeal-cookies/ but made a few of her own adjustments.¬† These are too good not to share so without further ado, I bring you my mother’s oatmeal cookies! ¬†Probably the best oatmeal cookies I’ve ever tasted and I’ve tasted PLENTY.

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies 

 

ingredients

  • 1¬†cup¬†butter, softened
  • 1¬†cup¬†granulated sugar
  • 1¬†cup¬†packed dark brown sugar
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†baking powder
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†ground cinnamon
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†baking soda
  • 2¬†eggs
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†vanilla
  • 1 1/2¬†cups¬†all-purpose flour
  • 3¬†cups¬†rolled oats
  • 1¬†11¬†–¬†ounce package¬†caramel baking bits
  • 1¬†cup¬†pecans, toasted and coarsley chopped (she used chopped almonds cause that’s what she had on hand)
  • Coarse sea salt (She completely omitted the sea salt because she thought it would be too salty – I personally think it would be better with it but clearly, they were still delicious without!)

directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, the baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour. Stir in oats, caramel baking bits and pecans.
  2. Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 1 1/2-inch mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  3. Bake in a 350 oven for 11 to 12 minutes, until the edges are light brown. (Centers will look undercooked.) Cool on cookie sheets for 3 to 4 minutes or until cookies can be easily removed. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

nutrition facts

(Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies)

Mark as Free Exchange () 0, Potassium (mg) 49, sodium (mg) 421, carb. (g) 21, iron (mg) 1, pro. (g) 2, cal. (kcal) 145, vit. A (IU) 146, Thiamin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 0, sugar (g) 14, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Folate (¬Ķg) 12, fiber (g) 1, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, calcium (mg) 20, Monosaturated fat (g) 2, sat. fat (g) 3, chol. (mg) 18, Fat, total (g)

Now here’s a little tip from me… ¬†ALL cookies stay soft and chewy when stored with a slice of bread in the container! ¬†For real. ¬†You should try it! ¬†The bread soaks up the moisture that would otherwise make the cookies hard!
Enjoy!