Of course right about now you might be thinking, “But that needs to marinate in red wine overnight??!?” And you would be right. So I made kind of a quick and dirty coq au vin. It had most of the right stuff, and tasted pretty damn good, but it wasn’t quite what you would get from a traditional recipe. Of course, it took a lot less time too! Total time: under two hours to go to the store to get a few things I needed, wash a few dishes, and get dinner cooked and on a plate! With a traditional recipe you would still be braising your chicken (If you had already marinated it!). I found this on the Epicuirous web site, and figured I’d give it a shot. I kind of tweaked it a little, but I almost always do that.
4 strips of bacon, cut into lardons or thick strips
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I only had two handy so I went with that, but I had plenty of the sauce left.)
8 oz crimini or button mushrooms quartered
2 medium onions quartered (or you could use small onions like cipollinis or pearls.)
4 cloves garlic minced
1.5 cups dry red wine
1.5 cups chicken stock
Chopped flat leaf parsley
I didn’t thicken this, but I did let it reduce. You could use a corn starch slurry if you want to thicken the sauce a bit before you serve it. The recipe called for a few tablespoons of AP flour to be whisked in, but that isn’t really helpful in our case.
The first thing to do is heat some oil in a skillet, and add the bacon. Over medium heat cook the bacon until it is crisp and brown. Remove it from the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken on both sides, and remove it.
Now you can add the mushrooms, onions and garlic to the pan and saute them until they are lightly browned. Now, as you can see in the pictures there is a bit of brown stuff on the bottom of the pan. That is a good thing, and it is why I didn’t use a non-stick skillet for this. That is fond. What that means is that we have a sauce to make! Deglaze the pan by pouring in part of the wine and scraping the bottom with your spoon or spatula. This will loosen up the bits from the bacon, etc.. Then add the rest of the wine and the stock, and bring it up to a boil.Return the chicken and bacon to the pan, turn down to a simmer and cover it. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in chopped parsley, and serve! In this case I served it with some roasted potatoes and asparagus! Not too bad for a Tuesday night! Oh, and of course it was gluten free. Like I said you could thicken it with a corn starch slurry, in that case you would want to take the chicken out when you were ready to serve, and whisk it in while the sauce boils.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I am a fan of Eric Ripert. Amy and I picked up a Roku for streaming movies and whatever else not too long ago, and on one of the channels I found his show Avec Eric. I had seen an episode or two of the show before, but now I can watch to my heart’s content. I started with an episode kind of at random, and saw a dish that sounded fantastic. It ended up being somewhat similar to the Poulet Basquaise that I made a while back, and still make from time to time. There were, of course, some significant differences as well. Some of the things went against the ideas I had about wine and food. I figured that Eric Ripert knows what he is doing, and I would go along with what he said. In this case red wine and fish together? Yes, yes indeed!
I frequently don’t follow recipes exactly. I do if it is something I am not familiar with, but if I have a fair idea of where things are headed I tend to fudge amounts, but follow the method and actual ingredients. Doing this also makes it very easy for me at least to adjust quantities to fit the number of people eating, so that I don’t have half a bell pepper laying around when I’m done cooking.
The recipe I had goes like this:
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup small diced Serrano ham
½ cup small diced red bell
½ cups small diced yellow bell
1 cup tomato, peeled, seeded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- fine sea salt and freshly
- Espelette pepper or cayenne
That is not exactly what I did of course. Mine ended up more like:
1 medium onion diced medium fine
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 red bell pepper medium fine dice
1 orange bell pepper medium fine dice
4 roma tomatoes seeded, medium fine dice
1 TBSP thyme
red wine (I didn’t measure, it might have ended up a cup)
Parsley, fresh chopped
salt and pepper
salt and white pepper
fresh thyme sprigs
2 cloves of garlic, halved
Got everything ready to go? Ok, in a medium skillet heat the olive oil. Then add the onions and garlic to the pan, and cook over medium heat until clear. Add the bell peppers, and cook until nearly tender and add the tomato and thyme. Cook until the tomatoes are almost tender and add the wine. Bring it to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer to reduce (don’t forget to stir from time to time) to almost a jam consistency, and stir in the parsley.
Now we can tackle the cod… Season it on both sides with salt, white pepper and cayenne. Heat a skillet, and add the canola oil. Start with the skin side up and sear the cod. Put in the garlic and thyme sprigs in the pan with the fish. Now, here is a place where this can go wrong. Once you put the fish in the pan DO NOT touch it! The fish will be stuck, and if you try to force it you’ll just make a mess. Leave it alone for a couple of minutes, with the heat on medium. Gently poke the fish, and if it scoots a little you can flip it. Be gentle with it. Flipping things too quickly can get you burned pretty easily. I know it is a bit counter-intuitive, but go slowly. Move the garlic and thyme, and get your spatula under a piece of fish, then hold it on the spatula as you flip it over, and place the garlic and thyme on top of the fish. Continue cooking over medium heat until the fish is cooked through. To test this take a metal skewer and insert it into the thickest part of the fish, and leave it there for about 5 seconds. When you pull it out it should feel warm when you touch it to your lip.
To plate this up I put some of the sauce on the plate, and place the fish on top. We decided to have some roasted potatoes with dinner that evening. This was an amazing dinner, and I can’t wait to make it again!