Hey, Mother Nature? Can we talk for a minute here? See, I am usually the first one who loves a good snow storm. I was positively giddy as I read the reports of historic snow accumulations this past weekend. And when I woke up to a Winter wonderland on Saturday, I happily jumped outside to make a snow angel. And I really appreciate the snow day today, I really do. I don’t hold the idiotic local “Blizzard 2010″ snow coverage against you…how were you to know anchors got punchy and stupid after hours of sleep deprivation. But now I’m hearing reports of another significant snow storm set to hit the area tomorrow afternoon…and I’m starting to get a little, well, annoyed.
First of all, have you watched daytime television lately?!? It’s mind numbing to say the least. And I don’t care what Comcast commercials tell you, their On Demand service does NOT help you through cabin fever. I can only watch the last few tired episodes of CSI: Where-the-Fuck-Ever so many times. And Comcast, you STILL haven’t updated your service with the latest episode of Archer (asshats). And as much as I love the Boy, I’m this close to bouncing a Swingline stapler off his head (no offense, dear). One can only take so much togetherness…
Look, I know I’m sounding a bit unhinged right now but you’re really starting to test my patience. I was fine when Tony Perkins told me not to worry about the precipitation on the extended forecast for Tuesday. But you’ve turned Tony into a liar…a LIAR!!!! I.NEED.TO.GET.OUT.NOW!!!!
Recipe: Modern Day Coq Au Vin (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
- 1 bottle fruity, smooth, medium-bodied red wine
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tbs minced fresh parsley leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 oz bacon, diced
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs , trimmed of excess fat and cut in half
- 5 tbs unsalted butter
- 24 frozen pearl onions , thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup)
- 8 oz pkg cremini mushrooms , wiped clean, stems trimmed, quartered
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 tbs all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan, combine the wine and the parsley and thyme sprigs. Cook the wine/herb mixture over medium heat until it’s condensed to about 3 cups.
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy (be very careful not to burn the bacon bits) over medium high heat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Measure out three tablespoons of the bacon fat and remove the remaining fat from the pot.
- Return the pot to the heat and pour one tablespoon of the bacon back into the pot.
- Lightly salt and pepper the chicken thighs and add a single layer of the thighs to the Dutch oven. Cook them until they’re lightly browned on each side (about 2 minutes per side). Remove the first batch of thighs from the pot and place them on a plate.
- Repeat this process until all of the chicken thighs are browned. You may have to add more bacon fat as you brown the remaining chicken thighs.
- Keeping the Dutch oven on the heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter bubbling has subsided, add the onions and the mushrooms. Saute the onions and the mushrooms until they are soft and browned, about four minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about another 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste and the flour, stirring to incorporate everything.
- Pour in the wine mixture and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Salt and pepper to suit your taste and then add back the chicken thighs (and any accumulated juices). Turn the heat back up to high to bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pot and allow everything to simmer until the chicken is tender – about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the pot with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Tent the plate with foil to keep the thighs warm.
- Increase the heat to medium high and allow the sauce to thicken and reduce to about 3 cups (which should take only about 5 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining butter to the sauce. Taste the sauce to see if it’s seasoned to your liking. If not, add more salt and pepper. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, immersing all of them into the sauce. Serve over egg noodles or steamed rice with a sprinkling of the minced parsley.