When the snow is good as it has been, it’s very hard to take time out of your busy ski schedule to cook. So, I like to be efficient and concentrate my cooking efforts into one afternoon.
Most people I know who don’t cook don’t cook because they don’t know how to, but time management is a big factor, too. Lets face it. To cook things correctly takes time. Soup for example, often calls for stock. I really don’t like to use any stock I haven’t make myself. And making stock really isn’t hard, but it does, again, take time.
So, during these amazing ski days, I try to make the most of my cooking time and do a few different things. Last Sunday, for example, I cooked for about three and a half hours. I made a broccoli cheddar soup (with homemade stock, of course) and a white wine version of coq au vin.
I have only made coq au vin twice before. It takes a little bit of time to make since you marinate the meat, sear it, then slowly braise it. But, I must say, it’s worth the extra effort.
While most versions are a red wine based, I decided to try a similar style recipe with white wine. I loved the lighter flavor, though don’t get me wrong, I love traditional red wine coq au vin.
The trick to making this dish delicious, I think, is in slowly braising the chicken until it is almost falling off the bone. It can take a long time to do this, so just keep it slowly going on low heat. You can’t really overcook it, so you could make it in the morning and keep it going all day until you are ready to serve it at night. If you do this, periodically check the liquid, though. You may need to add more wine and/or some chicken broth.
Four hours or so should do the trick. Aim for about this long if you want the meat to be super tender.
You can serve coq au vin with mashed potatoes, pasta or rice. I prefer it with rice. Mashed potatoes seem a little rich, but rice is a perfect vehicle for the onions, carrots and chicken.
This recipe calls for a generous amount of food – perfect for leftovers. Cut it in half if you only want to eat it once or twice, or better yet, have people over for a feast.
Recipe: Coq Au Blanc Vin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 chicken legs
- 4 bone-in chicken breasts
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 bags frozen pearl onions
- 20 button mushrooms, quartered
- 4 stalks of celery, sliced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bottle white wine
- 2 cups half and half
- A good handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Wash and dry the chicken. Place it in a non-reactive pan, and cover with the bottle of white wine. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight or for at least four hours. Remove the chicken, reserving all the liquid and dry the chicken on a wrack. Generously salt and pepper both sides of each piece.
- Place a large cooking pot over high heat and add the olive oil. Add 3-4 pieces of chicken to the pot and brown on all sides until they are a golden color. Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Reduce the heat slightly and add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pot along with the thyme, and pour in the reserved white wine. Bring to a slow boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer over a low for at least an hour or until the chicken is cooked all the way through and beginning to come away from the bones (you could simmer this for up to 4 hours).
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Stir the cream into the juices, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the sauce is has become a little thicker.
- Place the chicken back in the pot to allow it to warm through and stir through the chopped parsley. Serve with rice.