Thursday, July 18, 2013

Make it Special with a Budget Friendly Coq Au Vin Blanc

      My friends! Don't let the name scare you.  It is just a French phrase for Chicken in White wine.  If you have been following me (I hope so.), you already realize that I love braising meat and vegetables. I found that this method of cooking easier to manage even it entails a long cooking.  Once it's on the simmering step,  I just set the timer and it allows me to do other things in the house. Cool right?
      You might be asking how I can call this fancy sounding dish budget friendly.  Well, when I created this recipe, I made sure I'll only use ingredients that are found in most people's panty.  Also, I cut back on the wine.  Most traditional recipes I know use at least a full bottle.  By just using 2 cups and adding chicken broth, I still get the exquisite aged flavor of the wine in the dish and still have some for drinking later.  In fact, when I first made this, I took the leftover wine in the fridge.  
     Just a little reminder though when cooking with wine.  Pick the one that you can drink and actually like.  It doesn't have to be expensive.  There are white wines under $10 a bottle that are good.  One of my favorites is Jersey Fresh wines.  Search for local wines, you'll be surprised that some are really good.
        Best thing about this dish is that it tastes better the next day.  This batch produces enough for another day's meal saving you precious time.  Bring it to your next pot luck.  I'm pretty sure your friends and extended family will be impressed.
 - Roz


3 pcs. chicken breast (boneless, skinless and sliced in about 1/2 inch thick)
5 pcs. chicken thigh (bone in and with skin)
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups white wine
2 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium)
1 cup carrots, diced
3 cups potatoes quartered (about 2 inch cubes)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 cup baby spinach (thinly sliced or chiffonade)
1/2 cup white onions, chopped

1. In the medium setting of the stove, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a heavy soup pot.
2. While the oil is heat, coat the chicken pieces with the chili powder.
3. Brown the chicken in batches, starting with the dark meat.  Set the browned meat aside.
4. After all the meat has browned, sauté the onions and sundried tomatoes in the same pot for 3 minutes or until fragrant.
5. Deglaze the pan with wine and let the alcohol evaporate for about 4 minutes.
6. Pour the stock and bring to a boil.
7. Put back the chicken pieces in the boiling liquid.
8. Season with pepper, thyme and 2 tsp. salt. Bring it back to a boil.
9. Once it starts to boil, add the carrots and potatoes.
10. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.  You can also put the whole pot in a preheated oven at 325F for 2 hours.  If using the stovetop method, stir the mixture every 25 minutes to make sure nothing sticks at the bottom of the pan.  You can forgo stirring if you are using the oven method.
11. After 2 hours, check for seasoning.  Depending on the chicken stock you used, you may need to add the remaining 1 tsp. of salt.
12. Stir in the spinach and chili flakes. 
13. Serve hot with rice, pasta or bread. Enjoy!

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