This lovely braised dish is the perfect remedy for a cold Winter evening, slow cooked and full of goodness. The recipe calls for chicken thighs which are braised in white wine, and chock full of healthy veggies such as fennel, shallots, carrots, garlic and thyme. Add some crunchy fried pancetta to the mix and you’ve got an amazing twist on the classic Coq au Vin recipe, which is normally made with the addition of mushrooms, red wine or brandy. Top off the dish with the savory pan sauce, lemon zest and some fresh parsley and fines herbes and you’ve got yourself a hearty dinner that is sure to please a crowd for a dinner party or just you and your significant other when you’re tucked away from the cold. Serve with a crisp white wine (such as Dry Reisling, which is used in this recipe) and some crusty garlic bread. YUM!
1/4 cup olive oil
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
7 oz. pancetta, diced (1 heaping cup)
8 medium shallots, lobes separated and halved
4 medium carrots, cut into 3/4 inch thick slices
1 small bulb fennel, cored, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch dice
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 springs fresh flat leaf parsley
4 springs fresh thyme
1-2 bay leaves
2 cups dry fruity wine, Alsatian or German dry Reisling
2 cups chicken broth (low-sodium)
1 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp Knorr’s Chicken Flavor Base
2 tbsp thickening flour
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest, for pan sauce
dash of fennel fronds, for pan sauce
dash of chopped thyme, for pan sauce
1 tbsp dried fines herbes (tarragon, chives, parsley, chervil)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and place rack in bottom third of oven, tall enough to fit a large Dutch oven.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a 7-8 quart Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the chicken with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Arrange the chicken slices skin side down in the pot in a single layer and sear, flipping once until golden brown all over, about 10-13 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Meanwhile, chop the pancetta into a dice and the vegetables for browning.
Cook the pancetta in the pot until well browned all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off and discard the fat, reserving 1 tablespoon.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots, carrots, and fennel, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until its aroma subsides, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaves together in a small cheesecloth sachet and add the herb bundle to the pot, along with the wine.
Simmer briskly, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits.
Add the chicken broth to the pot and stir for a few minutes, allowing the herb essence to infuse the broth.
Return the chicken and pancetta to the pot, arranging the chicken in a single layer. Bring to a simmer and cover, transfer to the oven.
Braise the chicken until the meat is fork-tender and just starting to come away from the bone, 30-45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter or large dish with a slotted spoon and tent with foil.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the sauce in the pot, whisking to dissolve, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce sauce to approximately 2 cups about 15 minutes, until thickened.
Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Throw in a few fennel fronds and chopped thyme leaves and stir. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley and fines herbes. Serve with a glass of crisp, dry white wine and some crusty garlic bread to mop up the sauce. ENJOY.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking One-Pot Meals, Fall 2011.
Beef Stroganoff is a dish that always reminds me of home – my mother used to make this on cold winter nights as a special treat for my Dad who is a total ‘meat and potatoes guy’ – obsessed with anything including beef, noodles and gravy. Maybe it’s a German-Polish thing?? She oftentimes prepared this dish with ground beef for a quick and easy dinner, but I’ve adapted her recipe a bit by adding a few extra ingredients to make my own savory version by adding some wine, fresh garlic and thyme. True comfort food for a chilly night, just like Mom made it.
Classic Comfort Food:: Beef Stroganoff
- ½ lb. fresh white mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ c. flour
- 2 lbs. round steak (sliced ¼”-1/2” thick)
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 c. red wine
- 1 1/2 c beef broth
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 1 package wide egg noodles
- Boil a large pot of water and cook egg noodles per directions. While water is boiling, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft in 2 tbsp butter and remove from pan.
- Cut steak into strips 2 ½” long and ¾” wide. Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter in pan. Toss steak strips in flour and coat. Brown meat in butter until well browned on both sides. Add salt and pepper, worcestershire, wine and broth. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender (about 1 ¼ hours).
- Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley and cook approximately 7 mins, until sauce thickens.
- Add sour cream, stir until smooth and remove from heat.
- Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with more parsley. Enjoy with some crusty bread, a green salad and a glass of red wine.
To make a casserole: combine beef stroganoff mixture with cooked egg noodles with butter and spoon into a greased casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven and then top casserole with crunchy fried onions and bake 10 mins more until onions are crunchy and golden brown.
Other Beef Stroganoff Recipes you may enjoy:
Epicurious Beef Stroganoff
Rachel Ray’s Beef Stroganoff
Williams Sonoma Beef Stroganoff
Real Sloppy Joes
Ever since I got my new Williams-Sonoma cookbook, “Comfort Food”
for Christmas, I decided that Winter is a perfect time for staying in and
cooking and pursuing some comfort amidst the freezing and dismal
weather outside. So I’ve decided to cook my way through the book over
the next few months, and found a recipe for Sloppy Joes – a dish I haven’t
had in a looongg time. In fact, I think I’ve only tried them a handful of times
– growing up when my Mom wanted to make a quick dinner but something
tasty and savory.
Sloppy Joes have definitely gotten a bad rap, but this version ups the ante and
puts them back on the map for a delicious quick dish you can make on a weeknight
that’s hearty and spicy and filling. The ingredients are simple and basic: ground
beef, onions, peppers, celery and the sauce is a spicy-sweet tomato sauce that is
tangy and savory and just too good!
Since I wasn’t able to find bottled chili sauce, I made my own by using 3 parts ketchup
to 1 part Chili-Garlic sauce and a small amount of Sriracha sauce (you can find both of
these in an Asian supermarket). I also added a dash of onion salt and a dash of Paula
Deen’s House seasoning and a dash of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning to add a little
extra spice and layer of flavors. If you want to make them a bit spicier, throw in a small
amount of chopped green chiles. Also, if you’re using frozen meat and defrosting it, make
sure it’s completely defrosted before cooking, or you’ll need to omit the ¼ c. of water that
the recipe calls for, otherwise the mixture will become too watery.
The key to making a delicious Sloppy Joe is to have a perfect balance between tangy, spicy
and sweet – not too tomatoey and not too sweet like a BBQ sauce. Also, the flavors meld
together as time goes on, so they actually taste better the next day! They are easy to make
and you’ll have leftovers for a few days if you’re eating for one or two. Serve these guys on
toasted buns with some melted cheese and a side of chips or fries. Mmmm-good!
Canola Oil, 1 tbsp
Yellow Onions, 1, diced
Celery, 1 stalk, diced
Green bell pepper, 1, finely diced
Ground Beef, 1.5 lbs
Tomato Sauce, 1 c
Ketchup-style chili sauce, ½ c.
Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tbsp
Dijon Mustard, 1 tbsp
Cider Vinegar, 1 tbsp
Light Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp firmly packed
Kosher Salt, 1 tsp
Fresh ground pepper, ¼ tsp
Sesame-seed or Whole Wheat Sandwich buns, 6 split, toasted
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell
pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and breaking up
the beef with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
Stir in ¼ c. water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar,
sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer,
stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
Toast the buns. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut side up, on warmed individual plates
and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the bun tops and serve right away.
Makes 6 sandwiches
Potato and Pepper Frittata with Cheese and Bacon
Yes Christmas is over but the cooking is not! As a tradition, I always make breakfast for the family and this year decided to make a delicious recipe for a Potato and Pepper Frittata from my new Williams-Sonoma cookbook Comfort Food: Warm and Homey, Rich and Hearty. Frittata is similar to a French quiche without the crust or a breakfast casserole but cooked in an ovenproof pan on the stove and then finished by broiling in the oven and served directly from the pan. This recipe calls for eggs, roasted red peppers and onions with Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped Rosemary which is a delicious Italian style Frittata. You can also modify it by adding cooked bacon, ham, shredded cheddar, asparagus and shallots or crumbled feta or goat cheese. I changed it up a bit by adding some shredded cheddar cheese and chives to the eggs and served it with a side of bacon and some Almond Butter Christmas Stollen (a German holiday bread). The possibilities are endless because Frittatas are so versatile and easy to make..it’s a simple and hearty breakfast or brunch you can make anytime of the year and deeeelish!!
Yukon Gold Potatoes, 2 med or large
Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
Yellow Onion, 1/2 c. chopped
Orange or Red bell pepper
Large eggs, 8
Fresh Rosemary, 1 tsp minced
Kosher Salt, 1/4 tsp
Fresh Ground Pepper
Parmesan Cheese, 3 tbsp
Thinly slice the unpeeled potatoes. In an ovenproof frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and turn to coat with the oil. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and the potatoes are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Place the pepper on a baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides about 12 minutes (you can also do this on a gas stove directly over the flame burner if you prefer). Transfer to a work surface and let cool until easy to handle. Leave the broiler on. Peel off the blackened skin, discard the stem, seeds and ribs; and chop the pepper.
Stir the roasted red pepper into the potato mixture into the frying pan. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, rosemary and salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the potato mixture and cook over medium heat until the edges are set. Using a heatproof spatula, lift the cooked edges of the frittata and tilt the frying pan to allow the liquid egg on top to flow underneath. Continue cooking, occasionally lifting the frittata and tilt again, until the top is almost set about 4 minutes more.
Sprinkle the top of the frittata with the Parmesan, place under broiler for about 1 minute or until the top is golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Makes 4-6 servings