Coq au Vin

Ingredients

10 oz shallots
3 tablespoons flour
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz chopped bacon or pancetta
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup brandy
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bottle dry fruity red wine, 750 ml
8 oz small button mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter, softened (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
creamy mashed potatoes or tagliatelle, to serve

Method

  1. Cut the shallots into even-sized pieces, leaving the small ones whole and cutting the others in half or quarters.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken breasts in the flour and coat both sides.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large lidded skillet or deep casserole, add the chicken breasts, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned—you may have to do this in 2 batches.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan, discard the oil, and wipe the pan with paper towels.
  5. Return the pan to the heat and pour in the remaining oil. Add the chopped bacon or pancetta and the shallots and fry until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, then return the chicken to the pan.
  6. Put the brandy in a small saucepan and heat it until almost boiling. Set it alight with a long kitchen match and carefully pour it over the chicken. Let the flames die down, then add the thyme and bay leaf and pour in enough wine to just cover the chicken. Bring back to simmering point, then reduce the heat, half cover the pan, and simmer very gently for 45 minutes. (If you’re making this dish ahead of time, take the pan off the heat after 30 minutes, let cool, and refrigerate overnight.) Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan, set aside, and keep it warm.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the shallots, bacon pieces or pancetta cubes, and mushrooms out of the pan and keep them warm. Increase the heat under the pan and let the sauce simmer until it has reduced by half. If the sauce needs thickening, mash 1 tablespoon soft butter with 1 tablespoon flour to give a smooth paste, then add it bit by bit to the sauce, beating well after each addition, until the sauce is smooth and glossy.
  9. Return the shallots, pancetta, and mushrooms to the pan. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cut each chicken breast into 4 slices and arrange them on warm serving plates. Spoon a generous amount of sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or tagliatelle.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine


Today’s Comic

Saltimbocca Roman Style

Ingredients

8 small veal scallops (about 14 lb)
salt
pepper
8 slices prosciutto ( both the lean and the fat)
flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
8 sage leaves
dry white wine
Boiled baby potatoes tossed in butter and parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Trim the veal scallops, and pound, making them all roughly the same size.
  2. Season veal with salt and pepper, and put on each 1 sage leaf. Cover with 1 slice prosciutto and fasten with a toothpick . Dip them lightly in flour.
  3. Melt half the butter or margarine in a pan, add the meat slices side by side. Increase the heat, and brown on both sides. Continue cooking for a few minutes, until golden and cooked through. Put on a warm serving platter and remove the toothpicks.
  4. Add the wine to the cooking juices, and let it reduce on high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it has almost evaporated.
  5. Add the remaining butter or margarine, and pour over the saltimbocca.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with baby potatoes tossed in butter and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Cook’s Book


Today’s Comic

Sweet Saffron Buns

Ingredients

Saffron Mixture

1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rum or another good strong liquor

Dough

Saffron Mixture, above
2 packages (1/2 oz) active dry yeast (4-1/2 tsp)
1 cup water
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup butter, cubed, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
sugar for dipping

Method

  1. Mix the saffron, sugar, and rum in a bowl and let stand for several hours.
  2. Blend the saffron mixture with the remaining dough ingredients except the flour: Add about one-third of the flour and stir until the dough is smooth. Add the rest of the flour and stir until the dough holds together, or knead in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a smooth ball by folding the edges in to the center. Turn the dough seam-sidedown. The principle here is the same as for shaping a round loaf. Sprinkle with some flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 1-1/2 hours or in the refrigerator for 10 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into 30 pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball.
  5. Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a baker’s couche or a heavy linen tea towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 2 hours.
  6. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  7. Bake the buns until golden brown on top and bottom, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes under a kitchen towel.
  8. Brush the rolls with the melted butter and dip them into the sugar to coat.
  9. These buns are best when freshly made, but you can freeze them. Thaw frozen or reheat day-old buns for 10 minutes in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven.

Makes 30 buns.

Source: Bread Bread Bread


Today’s Comic

Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salsa

Ingredients

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 jalapeno peppers, 1 thinly sliced, 1 diced
4 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and skin
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 dashes tequila (optional)
1 navel orange, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 small pink grapefruit, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 scallions, thinly sliced
10 yellow and/or red cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
grated zests of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 tomatillos, diced (optional)
4 handfuls of mesclun or other mixed greens

Method

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine 1/4 cup each of the lime juice and oil and the jalapeno slices.
  2. Rub chicken with salt and pepper and add to marinade. Add a dash of tequila. Marinate for at least half an hour.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine citrus fruit, scallions, tomatoes, remaining lime juice and olive oil, zests, salt and pepper, diced jalapeno, cilantro, tomatillos, and remaining tequila. Set aside.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade. Cook on a hot grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  5. Remove from grill and let stand 5 minutes.
  6. Divide the greens among four plates.
  7. Slice the chicken and arrange on top of greens.
  8. Spoon salsa over each salad and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: What to Have for Dinner


Today’s Comic

Roasted Leg of Venison

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, crushed
4-6 fresh parsley sprigs
4-6 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorns, lightly crushed
3 cups red wine
4 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 young venison haunch (about 6 lb), trimmed
2 tbsp plain flour
1 cup beef stock
1 unwaxed orange
1 unwaxed lemon
4 tbsp redcurrant or raspberry jelly
4 tbsp ruby port or Madeira
1 tbsp cornflour, blended with 1/2 tbsp of water
l tbsp red wine vinegar
fresh herbs, to garnish
French Scalloped Potatoes, to serve

Method

  1. Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, wine and oil in a deep glass dish large enough to hold the venison, then add the venison and turn to coat. Cover the dish with clear film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 days, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F.
  3. Remove the meat from its marinade and pour the marinade into a saucepan. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper, then brush the meat with a little oil on all sides and wrap tightly in foil.
  4. Roast the venison for 15-20 minutes per pound for rare to medium meat. About 25 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil, sprinkle the venison with the flour and baste with the cooking juices.
  5. Add the stock to the marinade and boil over a medium-high heat until reduced by half, then strain and set aside.
  6. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the rind from the orange and half the lemon in long pieces. Cut the pieces into thin julienne strips.
  7. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat and add the orange and lemon strips. Simmer them for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold running water.
  8. Squeeze the juice of the orange into a medium saucepan. Add the jelly and cook over a low heat until melted, then stir in the port or Madeira and the reduced marinade and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  9. Stir the blended cornflour mixture into the marinade and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  10. Add the vinegar and the orange and lemon strips and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Keep warm, stirring occasionally.
  11. Transfer the meat to a board and stand, loosely covered with foil for 10 minutes before carving. Garnish with herbs and serve with the sauce and French Scalloped Potatoes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: French Delicious Classic Cuisine Made Easy


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