03.10.09: dinner (chicken thighs in sherry).

Chicken Thighs in Sherry

Chicken Thighs in Sherry

Apparently, TV chefs are constantly barraged with requests for chicken recipes. Elizabeth came to our culinary dyad with a distaste for the breast of the bird, understandable since most folks didn’t used to have food thermometers and solved the problem of salmonella by thermally blitzing the meat. Technology has lifted us in this regard, but nevertheless, many cooks still swear off breast meat in favor of the more flavorful thigh and leg.

Here is a fractured take on the old French coq au vin, using some Spanish and Italian flavors instead. When my brother wanted to make a nice meal for a professor of his, I recommended this recipe and he told me me dinner was an unbridled success. The recipe is pretty hardy and allows for variations, creativity and even mistakes and still comes out great. Traditionally, the poultry is cooked in red wine (technically a fricassee I think) for several days. In modern apps, a few hours does the trick since young chickens are now common (instead of the roosters the prep was originally catered to).

First flour-dredge and brown the chicken pieces in 1-2 tbsp of butter and oil. Fat is rendered from a pork product, in our case pancetta instead of bacon, about 5-8 minutes on low until the white fatty parts become translucent. Into this go onions, either 1 sliced sweet onion or some nice pearls/cipollinis. After 10 minutes, add the chicken back in and cover on medium low for 10 minutes. Then add enough wine to come more than halfway up the chicken pieces. Red does well, but here I opted for sherry. It has a buttery flavor that plays nicely with the onions and buttery base. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the chicken gets up to temperature (150-ish for those who live a bit dangerously, 165 F for the safety-minded). Serve over rice or egg noodles with parsley & some lemon and enjoy!

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