bacon, chicken, fast coq au vin, pearl onions

This one is for my friend Helen!

Helen is the busy mother of twin boys ( are they 10 now Helen?), and she deserves this recipe.  It’s a really fast version of coq au vin, and when I published this blog on Facebook, she asked did I have a fast one.  So, Helen, here you go!

Quick coq au vin (you can even do coq au riesling… works just as well.)

4 slices of streaky bacon chopped into 1 inch chunks
4 – 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks (although I have used skin on thighs and it’s delicious, esp if you like dark meat)
1/2 package of frozen pearl onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped or minced
1 container of mushrooms (quartered)
1 1/2 cups good red wine (will boil off so the boys can eat it)
1 cup good quality chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or Bisto if you have it, if so follow package directions)
1/4 cup cold water

Rice for serving (or boiled potatoes… or mashed… yum!)
1 covered quart size oven safe casserole

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sauté bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Leave the drippings in the pan.  Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper to taste and brown in bacon drippings in skillet. Sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side; transfer to casserole and put in oven covered to keep warm.

Add onions to skillet and saute until warmed through and slightly cooked, add in mushrooms; season to taste with with salt and pepper and some thyme if you have it. Sauté all until until brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until you can smell it, only a few minutes. Add wine, broth, and bacon and stir well. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil briskly for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is boiling, in a separate cup combine the corn starch and 1/4 cup cold water, stirring until smooth, then add to sauce. (if using Bisto, follow package directions) Cook until sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed. Add chicken and any accumulated juices into the sauce. Stir to combine, and put into the lidded casserole. Bake for an additional 35 minutes, or until it’s bubbling and the sauce has thickened well.

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