It is that time of year - snow is in the forecast, Christmas is around the corner and we're all in the mood for cozy dinners. This stew is a warm-you-to-the-bones, stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner that will satisfy your every craving. For more Cozy Dinner Ideas, click here.
Coq Au Vin has been on my 'list' for about 3 years now. I'm not sure why I've been putting it off - maybe I was intimidated by the sophisticated name, or maybe I though it would be too complicated? Or maybe I just thought that it was too much like Beef Bourguignon, so I'd just make that instead. I decided to give it a whirl this week - and am I so glad I did.
I made a lighter, healthier version of the classic. Instead of using a whole chicken cut into pieces with the skin on, I used chicken breasts. Instead of using bacon, I used pancetta that has a smokier flavor and less fat. Mike thought that it would have been great served with mashed potatoes, too... of course, typical meat and potatoes guy!
hearty & healthy chicken stew
1/3 pound of pancetta, diced
2 pounds chicken breasts
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
5 carrots, large dice
1/2 yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
2 cups of red wine
2 - 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
clove of garlic
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
In a large dutch oven (or heavy pan with lid), cook diced pancetta on medium until the fat has rendered off. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan. Cut the chicken into 2-3 inch pieces, salt and pepper liberally. On high heat, sear the chicken in the pancetta fat for 2-3 minutes on each side until brown. Remove chicken and set aside.
Add carrots and onions to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften. You may need to add some olive oil to the pan at this point. Add mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes to brown. Add garlic. Cook for just 1 minute. Add wine, broth and thyme. Add chicken and pancetta back into the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then put in the 250 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked thru. Return pan to the stove top.
In a small bowl, microwave the butter for 15 seconds. Add flour and mix together. Add flour butter mixture to the pan with the chicken, vegetables and wine broth . Heat on medium high until the wine and broth mix begins to bubble and thicken.
Slice baquette into thick slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Place them under a hot broiler for 1-2 minutes until browned. Remove from oven and rub the garlic clove over the top of each piece.
Serve the stew with a piece of the garlic bread in a shallow soup bowl.
Brown the pancetta.
Sear the chicken on each side until it has a brown crust.
Cook the vegetables in the same fat.
Be sure to use fresh thyme - it really does make a difference!
This is a great soup for a cold winter night in front of the fireplace... perfect. For more Cozy Dinner Ideas, click here.