Sunday, January 6, 2013

Write it on the Sunday Menu: A Dreamy One-Pot Chicken Dish, Heavy on the Sauce!

Sundays should be special. They should also be easy, and that’s why I’m so enamored of my Sunday Best Braised Chicken Thighs with Sweet Peas and Bacon. When it comes to ingredients, precious little (you could practically write what you’ll need on the back of a postage stamp) goes into this kicked up version of Coq au Vin, but it’s ridiculously good, and, better yet, teaches the home cook about creating sauces on the stovetop that could pass le saucier’s final exam in a French cooking school. Coq au vin is simply chicken cooked in red wine, and while the cook can work with whatever crimson vino he or she prefers, I recommend something dry for this, like a Pinot Noir or French Burgundy.

On shopping day, consider going to Costco for the chicken—as I mentioned in my Sunday excursion post, I visited Costco and was just as pleased as punch that the retailer sold 18 chicken thighs, already neatly bundled, in 6 different packages—that made it so easy!  However, if you’re more provincial with your poultry and see your butcher, ask him to cut up a whole chicken into 10 pieces; that’ll help you approach this chicken dish with utter and complete ease.

Half the wine to cook with, the other half to help the mind wander!
I love the history behind anything braised. That’s why it made me laugh so much in the movie Hairspray, when John Travolta (as Edna Turnblatt) drifts over to the skillet on the stove and asks in a dreamy Baltimore accent: “Is that braised!?” It so happens braising has been a family favorite long before the 60s. Since Julius Caesar! The earliest recorded mention of it came from a English cookbook in the 1800’s. The cook/author was known merely as “a French woman”, and she taught the Brits to make Poulet au vin blanc. She used white wine. There are so many options when you braise chicken! In Fresh Traditions, I made a version of this dish with chorizo sausage and baby artichokes—but I like Sunday Best’s version even better.

More to Come…!
You’ll be so pleased when you plate this dish for your family. The peas give the dish a freshness and brightness that’s much needed on these cold January nights. This chicken is heaven on its own, but also works when served over a bed of rice, egg noodles or the Polenta With Asiago Cheese that’s making the rounds through my test kitchen. Stay tuned!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails