Sunday, February 22, 2009

a classic french dish cooked to impress

in my last post i mentioned the coq au vin. i realize it was kinda pointless to post that lil' blurb but the smell was just so kick ass and i was alone in my apartment and didn't have anyone else to share it with!

so now, here it is. another classic french dish attempted. another smashing success. (toot! toot!)

although i now own mastering the art of french cooking i decided to go with a recipe i found in bon apetit.

first things first. check out this kick ass new dutch oven i treated myself to.

although i adore my single woman's dutch oven (thanks what's for dinner!!) and have put it to good use it was time for an upgrade. i picked up this 5 3/4 quart chantal talavera at tj maxx. yes, le creuset is my dream and they even had some at tj maxx (marked WAY down from their original price) but i had to ask myself, why spend $120 when you can spend $50? someday i'll own a le creuset. just not yet.

so into the delightful new single woman but cookin' for a crowd's dutch oven went 4 whole chicken legs, chopped carrots, celery, onions, some fresh thyme and a couple of bay leaves.

then i added a bottle of cheap red wine to the mix.

then i stuck it in the fridge to marinate over night. look at those chocolate stouts. mmmmm.

here is something else sweet. a friend helped me set up a new bank account and as a promotion they offered $50 in free groceries. woohoo! i stocked up on some pantry essentials!

after marinating all night i took the dutch oven outta the fridge and let it come up to temperature on the counter before sticking it on a hot stove.

in the meantime i tackled the pearl onions. whew. what a pain in the neck! i boiled some water and dumped the onions in for about 2-3 minutes. then i drained them and dumped them right into a bowl of cold water. i cut off the root end and according to various sources the onions should just pop right out when you squeeze 'em. some popped right out. others did not. this took a few minutes.

next i quartered some 'shrooms.

i set aside the onions and the mushrooms and pulled the chicken out of the pot.

i patted the chicken dry with paper towels, seasoned them with a lil' salt and pepper and then set them aside. i put the dutch oven on the stove top over medium low heat to heat it through.

i sauteed the onions and mushrooms in a lil' butter over medium heat.

once they were tender (about 7 minutes or so) i took them out and then fried up my bacon.

once the bacon was brown i removed it from the pan, crumbled it up and added it to the bowl of 'shrooms and onions. then i wiped out my skillet and browned the chicken over medium-high heat.

this smelled SO good. really, really good.

once the chicken was nice and brown i added it back to the
pot o' goodness.

now it was time to just walk away and let it simmer uncovered.

here it is when it just started simmering.

and here it is again after about an hour and a half.

at this point i removed the chicken to a plate and drained the entire pot over a big bowl. i added the chicken and the liquid back to the single woman but cookin' for a crowd's dutch oven. what of the other trimmings? they went down the disposal. they left their flavors in the liquid and it was time for them to say goodbye.

i added the mushrooms, onions and crumbled bacon to the mix and warmed it through over medium heat.

then i packed it up and headed over to my dad's. my secret boyfriend eric ripert suggests serving coq au vin over noodles and julia and company suggest serving it with parsley potatoes and buttered peas. i decided to serve it over garlic smashed potatoes.

i roasted a bulb of garlic with a lil' olive oil and some salt and pepper for about 40 minutes or so. then i squeezed the cloves out of their skins and roughly chopped them.

i made pretty traditional smashed potatoes (butter, milk, salt and pepper) and then smashed in the chopped roasted garlic for that lil' something extra.

and here is my coq au vin over garlic mashed potatoes.

this was really, really good. the chicken just came right off the bone and we lapped up the sauce with a nice crusty hunk of french bread.

mmm. mmm. mmm.

man, french cooking is tops!!


Viper said...

those are good looking eats.

the erratic epicurean said...

thanks for the support viper. one of these days i'll have to cook you a fancy french meal as a thank you for your diligent blog commenting!

Viper said...


the erratic epicurean said...

make that TWO fancy french meals! you are my only supporter and you deserve some good eats!

Jackie said...

you can cook for me anytime

the erratic epicurean said...

how about a nice tart jackie? =)