Friday, December 12, 2008

We pardoned the turkeys and made chicken instead

It's raining now, but we got our first snow recently and got to see the neighborhood wild turkeys strolling through our neighbor's front yard across the street. This isn't a rare sight, but it's not often that I have my camera on hand to capture them before they mosey on.

Tonight I tried my hand at a recipe for Coq Au Vin I found on I love that site because you can just type in the ingredients you have on hand in the search engine. I typed in chicken breasts, carrots and onions and I happened to be intrigued by this one. Of course I was familiar with the name of the dish and when I saw the recipe called for pearl onions (which I have two bags of) I had to try it. I don't know how many of you out there enjoy these savory little onions, but I really love them just boiled, let alone roasted with other veggies and/or meat. Anyway, this is really an adaptation on the real recipie, and I tweaked things a bit given what I had on hand. I'll include how I cooked the side of potatoes as I think this was a good compliment to the main dish.
  • Boneless chicken breasts
  • Potatoes
  • Bacon
  • Thyme
  • Red wine
  • Pearl onions
  • Carrots
  • Yellow onions
  • Chicken stock
  • Black pepper (salt to taste)
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a pot and add peeled and diced potatoes.
  2. Cook a few strips of bacon till it's nice and crisy in a frying pan. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the grease. Chop up the bacon to use later.
  3. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan except for about two tablespoon.
  4. Chop yellow onion and add to frying pan with grease until golden yellow.
  5. Drain potatoes when they are still firm but slightly tender.
  6. Add potatoes and some of the chopped up bacon bits to the pan and fry. I added a little butter too (as you can already tell, I don't really cook diet food, at least not in the winter!)
  7. Cover and cook on a low heat, checking and stirring often until potatoes are tender all the way through.
  8. Spray another large skillet with cooking oil and add four chicken breasts. Cook on medium heat browning both sides of the meat.
  9. Peel and cut carrots into thin slices - about two/three cups.
  10. Peel pearl onions and cut off the ends - about 16 onions.
  11. Mince about two cloves of garlic (or more if you love it like I do).
  12. Once chicken has browned on both sides, add 1.5 cups of red wine, minced garlic, pearl onions, carrots, a few tbls of bacon bits, one bay leaf, a sprinkling of thyme and black pepper and bring to a boil.
  13. Once it has reached a boil, cover and bring the heat down to low to simmer for about 25 minutes.
  14. Check the meat to make sure it's done, and if it is, remove the meat and veggies from the pan with a slotted spoon onto another dish.
  15. Remove the bay leaf from the juice remaining in the pan.
  16. Wisk together 1/4 cup of flour with 1.5 cups of cold water in a seperate bowl.
  17. Add flour/water mixture to the juices in the pan and cook on a low/medium heat stirring/whisking the mixture continuously until the mixture thickens to a good gravy.
  18. I served the potatoes on the side, but on second thought I think it would be good to serve the chicken and veggies on top of the potatoes with gravy ladeled over the entire dish.

This is comfort food at it's best, my friends. You'll notice I'm not exact with amounts - most of this will be to YOUR taste. My husband doesn't like mushrooms so I didn't include them, but they are a traditional (and perfect) addition to this dish.

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