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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fancy cheap eats

Times are tough right now for a lot of people, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice good taste, or even something "special" for dinner at home.  As I've said before, I do a lot of my grocery shopping based on not only what looks good, but what's on sale.  Just about every week, you can get chicken on the bone for around 69 cents a pound, so make it a habit to integrate it into your meal planning every week if sticking to a budget is important to you.  It's so versatile - it's almost impossible to get tired of it.

Ina does it again, with a wonderful Coq Au Vin recipe that's delicious and easy to follow.  Pair it with some mashed potatoes and you've got a comforting, tasty meal that's good enough for company.  You could even look like a rock star and pull this together tomorrow for your Valentine :)

Coq Au Vin
adapted from Ina Garten (she says the recipe serves 3, but it definitely could serve 5-6)

4 oz. bacon, cut into chunks
5 chicken leg quarters
4 chicken legs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. carrots, cut into chunks
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac
1 cup red wine
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 pound frozen pearl onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
10 medium potatoes
1/2 stick butter
4 oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons heavy cream
salt & pepper

Peel the potatoes, place in a pot and boil until they are soft enough to stick a fork in them, about 20 minutes.  Drain potatoes and put them back in the pot.  Break them up a bit, then add remaining ingredients (season to taste) and beat with a hand mixer until smooth, or leave chunky if you prefer more texture.

Serves 8.

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At February 13, 2011 at 9:01 PM , Blogger Ann said...

Gotta love the Ina recipes. This Coq Au Vin looks fantastic, Melissa!

At February 14, 2011 at 6:16 AM , Blogger Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...I was delighted you led me to yours! Love your coq au vin...the perfect comfort food for this long winter!

At February 14, 2011 at 12:38 PM , Blogger julie said...

Love Coq au Vin. Love the Barefoot Contessa. I'm thinking this was one delightful dish. And you are so right about bone in chicken. Super affordable and always tasty!

At February 16, 2011 at 9:20 AM , Blogger Stacey Snacks said...

You are right, I love inexpensive meals like this!
I am posting coq au vin next week! this is perfect comfort food!


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