Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday Supper Series #7: A chicken hater's favorite chicken

I don't much like chicken. A lot of times, I find the taste and texture to be revolting. But, if raised right and prepared properly, chicken can be ok. Never as good as beef or lamb in my estimation, but above innards. I guess it is a good thing T isn't a poultry fan either.

If there is one personal behavior that buying meat from Polyface Farm has changed, it is the fact that I have multiple whole broilers in the freezer and actually use them. Polyface does sell chicken by the piece, but it is more cost effective to buy the whole bird and cut it up. And so that is what I usually do. I have all of four recipes for chicken that I find acceptable. Most involve strong sauces that enhance the flavor, or lack thereof, in chicken. The Polyface pasturing process takes care of the texture issue.

On Monday night I made what is probably my favorite chicken recipe.

Menu: Coq au Riesling, sauteed kale, salad, rice, bread.

The recipe I use is adapted from a book I bought in Alsace last fall, Recettes d'Alsace. It is in French, but between my Mom and Google translator, I managed to figure it out.

Cut it into six pieces (two breasts, two leg/thighs, two wings) and brine it for a few hours. Put the back and neck in a stock pot with the leek tops and make a stock. I suppose you could use a package of thighs or breasts for this, but I wouldn't bone or skin them. Chicken, even the Polyface variety, needs all the help it can get in the flavor department.

Mince up one or two leek bottoms, or a big handful of shallots. Chop some mushrooms, about a boxful. Once the chicken is drained from the brine, brown it in a dutch oven pot with butter. Salt and pepper it. Put the browned chicken aside and add the aromatics and scrape up the browned bits. Add the mushrooms and somewhere between 1 1/4 cup to most of a bottle of Riesling. Yes, it has to be Riesling. Add chicken stock if you feel like having a lot of gravy (we usually do). I threw in some thyme because I like thyme.

Let this simmer for about an hour on the stove top. Open it up and continue to simmer to let the sauce reduce a bit.  Skim off the fat. Add somewhere between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cream. If simmering has flattened the taste of the wine, add about 1/3 cup more at the end to freshen it up.

The book says to serve it with flat egg noodles, but I made rice instead. The sauce is amazingly good when soaked into still warm homemade bread.

I don't like much chicken, but I feel like I could eat this very often. And now I have made myself hungry for leftovers just in time for dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment