Friday, March 11, 2011

Psst Look Here, This is Quality Stuff

For Spockgirl and any other foodies who may be lurking about. I give you Coq Au Vin or Chicken and Wine in English. This recipe is a sort of test of French cooking skills, but here I've reduced it to something easy and fun to make. By the way, it smells incredible as it cooks.

Crockpot Coq Au Vin

Part One

8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

1 ¾ Cups Red Wine

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Black Pepper

3 Cloves of Garlic Chopped Fine

8 Ounces Baby Carrots

8 to 10 Pearl Onions (Use the real ones from the produce dept, they taste better then the canned kind)

6 Strips of Bacon Cooked and Chopped or Crumbled

Bouquet Garnier

This is either a pack of herbs wrapped in cheese cloth or in a Tea Ball, I use a Tea Ball, anyway, put 2 sprigs (or 3 Teaspoons of Chopped) Parsley, 2 Bay leaves and 2 teaspoons of Thyme in your Bouquet.

Put all of this in your crockpot or slow cooker and put it on low heat. Now….walk away. It needs to cook for 6 hours. Your house is gonna smell marvelous….

Part Two

Remove the bouquet after the 6 hours have passed; make a mix of 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons water. Remove any grease from the top, thighs have allot of fat and this may not even be necessary but check. Add 8 or 16 ounces of button mushrooms (Depends on how much you like mushrooms) and your water and flour mixture. Stir gently and cook on the high setting for 30 minutes. It will thicken and smell even better. Traditionally this is served with potatoes but it’s basically a stew so those aren’t really needed. It’s also traditionally served in a large low soup dish which I do recommend. Cook or get some French bread (For sopping the sauce) and enjoy. You’ve now cooked one of French Cooking’s great tests of skill, Coq Au Vin or Chicken and Wine. But don’t tell a Frenchman how you did it, the shock would kill them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thanks Brother

Had a death in the family. My wife's only brother. I'm not sure why I qualify him that way but it seems the natural thing to say. Chuck was a good guy and I liked him because he seemed to like me. He wasn't a saint by any means, and lived a very hard life for the first half but he got pretty close to being right for the second half. So, I give him his due and thank him for the time he spent here and what he did in that time. I have always had a problem with grief, the problem being that my father beat the whole grief thing outta me as a child. Good training for my years as a soldier but piss poor for my years as a human being, father and husband. People cry and I get confused. Why do they cry, tears will change nothing, but that doesn't seem to stop them. I think it brings a release, a release from the pain. I used to wonder where my release was, but I think I have been given a gift of sorts. When they cry they need someone to watch over them, to do the laundry and shopping and cooking and make the calls they hate to make, I am that someone. So I'll hug them and bring them food and nod when they weep because that's what I do. I've got your back. So I'll grieve in my own way and say, thanks Chuck, you were a good brother in law, I am truly glad to have known you. Now I have to run to the commissary buts it ok because dinner will be one of my best recipes.