Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fakeout Coq au Vin

Tuesdays have become my cooking days. Living in Clifton, it's easy to give in to the temptations of the carry-out order. Indian, sushi, even buffalo wings - they're all just a phone call and a parallel parking spot away. I resisted last night by focusing instead on making Cooking Light's "Quick Coq au Vin." They must be using the French definition of quick, because it took me about an hour from start to finish. Still, that's faster than the real thing. Fakeout Coq au Vin includes these things:
  • Chicken thighs
  • Red wine, chicken stock, and tomato paste
  • Carrots, cremini mushrooms, and thick-cut canadian bacon
The chicken thighs got some flour-salt-dried-thyme treatment in a ziploc back. They're browned on each side in a little olive oil, removed from the pot, and then the veggies and canadian bacon go in. They're sauteed in the little bit of chicken fat and olive oil left in the pan.

On a side note, I happened to have an excellent macro lens at my disposal for the night, so you're getting up close and personal with all of my dinner ingredients. Don't be shy.

After a saute, the red wine, stock, and tomato paste join the veggies in the pot. I cooked it all a little bit longer than CL suggested in the recipe, since it seems like a lot of liquid and I really wanted it to reduce to a thick sauce. And voila, it did. The chicken goes back in for another eight minutes or so, until it's cooked through so you don't die in the night with food poisoning.

Put it together with some grainy bread and you've made yourself a winner winner chicken dinner. Some of the canadian bacon got a little tough in the process, so next time I think I'll ditch the "Light" part and go all in on some good bacon.

There's plenty of room for variation too. Lots of comments on the CL site recommend adding some pearl onions. Several more brilliant people agree that real bacon is a good addition. Overall, a pretty basic recipe, but a really good one for Tuesday "not takeout, fakeout" night at home.