Tuesday, August 28, 2012

♥ Coq au Vin ♥

what you'll need:
♥ 24 to 30 pearl onions
  •  4 chicken thighs and legs, or one 2.5kg stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  1/4 to 1/2 cup flour
  •  2 tablespoons water
  •  170g bacon, shopped
  •  230g button mushrooms, quartered
  •  1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  •  750 ml pinot noir
  •  2 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  1 medium onion, quartered
  •  2 stalks celery, quartered
  •  2 medium carrots, quartered
  •  3 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  2 cups chicken stock or broth
what you'll do:
1. cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an "x" with your knife in its place. bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 1 minute. remove the onions from the pot, allow them to cool, and then peel. you should be able to slide the onions right out of their skin. set aside.
2. sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large sealable plastic bag along with the flour. shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.
3. add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large saute pan over medium heat along with the salt pork. cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the salt pork cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside.
4. in the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. remove the onions from the pan and set aside. next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. transfer the chicken into a stew pot.
5. add the mushrooms to the same saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
6. pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the pot along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. add all of the remaining wine. cover and refrigerate overnight.
7. the next day, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
8. place the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender. maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally.
9. once the chicken is done, remove it to a heatproof container, cover, and place it in the oven to keep warm. strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you actually began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes.
10. once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve. Serve over egg noodles, if desired.
Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.

♥ chicken, courgette & lemon pasta ♥

what you'll need:
♥ 4 large portabella mushrooms
♥ 350g dried linguine
♥ 300g courgette, grated
♥ 300ml low fat crème fraiche
♥ 200ml low fat greek yoghurt
♥ 1 large free-range egg yolk
♥ 35g parmesan cheese
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
♥ sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
♥ 250g cold roast chicken, shredded
♥ small bunch of fresh chives, snipped

what you'll do:

1. heat a pan and spritz in a little olive oil. fry the mushrooms then remove from the pan and set aside. fry the grated courgette for a couple of minutes. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, but cook it for a minute or two less so it's a little underdone.
2. meanwhile mix together the crème fraiche, yoghurt, egg yolk, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
3. drain the cooked pasta, leaving a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan. return the pan to a low heat and pour in the sauce.
4. toss the pasta in the sauce, then add the roast chicken and chives, giving it all a good mix round until it's evenly incorporated.

♥ worlds easiest and best tasting chicken pie ever - fact ♥

there's absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that this must be the world best tasting, easiest baking chicken pie in the world. fact!

if you're like me and not really a fan of chicken pies that's loaded with all kinds of other foods to make it bulkier and to help suppliers use the minimum amount of chicken to achieve the maximum amount of pies, then do yourself a fav and try this, pure chicken without the frills that so often spoil the end result!

what you'll need:
♥ 1 whole chicken
♥ 1 packet cream of mushroom soup powder
♥ pastry
♥ 1 egg
♥ salt
♥ pepper

what you'll do:
1. boil the chicken until cooked through - about 45mins to 1 hour.

2. when done, remove the chicken from the water. put the water aside as you'll use it again in the next step. remove all skin and bones and chop into pieces. i like to use scissors - much easier and way quicker.

3. add the packet of soup powder to the chicken and dissolve using the water you cooked the chicken in. add salt and pepper and stir until all the powder mixed in.

4. transfer the mixture to an oven proof dish - place the pastry on top and brush the egg on top.

5. bake until the pastry turns a gorgeous golden yellow

amazeballs :)