The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.
After a 4 hour wine bath, this chicken was a beautiful purple!
There is no better way to lift one’s sour mood than a beautiful 70 degree day! I’ve spent the last few days with as many windows open as I can (without having to fear Ladybug climbing out of them), shaking the winter dust out of the house, and rotating my wardrobe around. Ainsley spent the last few days growing like crazy, and so we’ve celebrated her new wardrobe with some painted toe nails and trips to the park. Joel is no longer working nights, so we actually get to see him every day (yay!) and I also have time to clean the house a bit. And so even though I am still really irritated and stressed out about having to move in less than 6 weeks and having no where to go, I have been able to take a big sigh, and I feel better.
I was pleased to see that this month’s challenge was back to a basic technique. Braising is a fantastic way to make meats delicious and juicy. And it is also a really healthy way to add flavor to your meat. I thought this might be a perfect time for us to finally try making Coq au Vin.
I have no idea why it has taken me this long to try Coq au Vin! We love love loved it!! Not only is it relatively simple to make, but it tasted truly delicious! I also really liked that the every part of the marinade was used (I hate throwing things down the drain). We will definitely be making this again, and hope you will give it a shot, too!
2 cups red wine 1 cup chopped yellow onion 1 cup chopped carrot 1 tsp salt 1 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed 1/2 tsp pepper 1 whole chicken, cut into parts and skinned (or 2 breasts, 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks) 1/2 cup flour 3 bacon slices, chopped 1/2 cup dried plums, pitted and quartered 2 bay leaves chopped fresh parsley
In a large bowl combine the red wine, onion, carrot, and seasonings. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to 24. Remove the chicken from the marinade (keep the marinade) and pat the chicken dry. Dredge both sides of all the chicken pieces in flour and set aside. In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add half of the chicken to the bacon drippings in the pan, cook for 4 minutes, or until brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and repeat with remaining chicken. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onion and carrots from the marinade (again, keep the marinade) and add to the pan. Sautee for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the marinade and scrap up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken, bacon, dried plums, and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a simmer Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with parsley, serve over mashed potatoes, and Enjoy!!
Jenni lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her amazing husband, two girls, two dogs who think they are children, and a feisty cat. She is the creator of The Gingered Whisk, a recipe blog dedicated to finding easy, healthy-ish, and tasty weeknight meals that kids and adults alike will love. She is super passionate about helping every member of a family learn to love great food. When not cooking, eating, or thinking about food, she is often hiking around area parks, creating intricate legos castles with her girls, watching nerdy tv with her husband, or curled up in a corner somewhere reading a good book.