Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Going-Away Gift, and a Full Day's Work: Coq Au Vin & Bakery Stuff

Sadly, my Summer of bliss is way too short, and my darling Andrew will be leaving me for Algonquin College on Friday. He asked me to make Coq Au Vin, which was a dish he loved when we visited Sightlines Restaurant at the Skydome for his 19th birthday (Rogers Centre to those non-Torontonians) as a dish to take up with him. I understand why it's one of his favourite dishes... flavourful dark meat chicken, great, rich red wine, and a simple herb base combine to form a fall-off-the-bone tender stew perfect for a brisk Fall day. I just wish that it didn't have to mean the loss of him for 4 months!

Now, I did set the fire alarm off during the pancetta browning process, but that's because our is insanely sensitive and I don't think anyone's cooked bacon here before me. I didn't burn anything, I swear!!

Remember Me Coq Au Vin
About 6 servings
100g pancetta, diced
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
3 lbs chicken parts (I prefer dark meat, but you can use anything as long as it's bone-in, skin-on)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
Black pepper
1 cup beef stock
3 cups (one 750mL bottle) "heavy" red wine (Andrew bought me a Jackson-Triggs Merlot for this!)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 carrots, medium chop
4 celery stalks, medium chop
1/2 lb white mushrooms, rough chop
  1. Brown pancetta 10 minutes in a very large pot. Remove, keeping the fat in the pan, and set aside.
  2. Add onions and chicken, skin-side down. Brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and pepper and cook 5 minutes
  4. Spoon off excess fat.
  5. Add the stock, wine, thyme, parsley and vegetables.
  6. Add the pancetta back to the pot, stir well.
  7. Lower heat to a brisk simmer.
  8. Cover and cook 35 minutes or until chicken is tender and fully cooked.
  9. Remove chicken and set aside.
  10. Discard the bay leaves and garlic.
  11. Add mushrooms, stir and turn the heat to high.
  12. Boil quickly, uncovered, to reduce liquid by 3/4, about 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  13. Return chicken to the pot and stir to coat completely with sauce.
  14. Serve over rice or potatoes.

My day was not just about French stew-making, however. I had bakery orders to fill, and lots of them. Today I baked off:

And I'm still not done! I have to make a Cinnamon-Raisin loaf either tomorrow or Thursday, and then I think I'm done. For now. But I love this!!! It's nice to be tired after working a full day, and the house smells amazing. I'm so thrilled for the popularity that my little enterprise has seemed to gather, it really gives me something to strive towards after I finish my course at George Brown College. If any of you live in the Durham area (or know someone who does) and are interested in anything from my bakery you can place an order through my site or right here! Yes, I know, shameless self-promotion. Blogs are great, no?