Coq Au Vin is really peasant food. Originally, it was made from an old chicken, and the wine was there not so much for flavor, but the soften the old bird up. It took a long time to cook, but the flavors were wonderful, so it became very popular. Of course, Julia Child made it famous. Her version was much simpler because people could buy a young chicken at the market, and did not have to wait until old Bessie was ready to kick the bucket.
I haven’t made this dish in years, not because it is difficult to make, but because I never seem to have all the ingredients together. It is actually pretty simple to make, just takes a little time because the flavors need to marry.
I had originally intended to make Boeuf Bourguignon, but we had Shepard’s Pie last night for dinner, so I was thinking I didn’t want to have beef again so soon. So, I actually went on Facebook and asked whether I should make Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. The consensus was chicken, so I started getting the ingredients together. The only thing I did not have was pearl onions, and not because I hadn’t tried to get them at the market, they just didn’t have any, so I used a regular onion and cut it into big pieces instead.
I love fall, when the leaves turn color and the temperatures are a little cooler. Recently, in Los Angeles, we just got through a heat wave, so I was very happy this morning when I saw thick clouds in the sky, knowing it might be a little cooler today. This evening, we even had thunder and lightning!
When I asked my son what he wanted to dinner, pork or chicken, he said chicken. Whilst looking in my pantry, I came across a box of gnocchi. I had received the gnocchi as a gift from a friend, and I knew it was high time I used it. Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling made of fluffy potatoes and flour. Marsala is a Sicilian wine, produced in the region near the city of Marsala. It is fortified for export.
Every Thanksgiving, The Good Plate goes crazy with people wanting to know how to roast a perfect turkey in a Nesco oven. Since I wrote the first article in 2009, I have made some significant changes to the preparation of the bird, mostly to cut down on time, but also to increase flavor and crispness of the skin. This year, in 2015, my bird was truly perfect, and everyone exclaimed about how much they don’t like breast meat because it’s too dry, but loved mine because it was nice and moist. If you want the older recipe with the liquid brine, please visit How to Make a Perfect Turkey in a Nesco Roaster Oven.
I was surprised at just how good this came out when I made it. Even Spane liked it once I explained what leeks are.
Leeks, I have told him and others, are a mildly sweet member of the onion family. They look like giant green onions. The only part that is edible is the white part, the green part is too tough to eat. No matter, there is plenty of the white part.
You don’t have to use a pork loin to make this. Pork chops would be fine. You could even use a rather tough piece of beef that does well with braising.
When I was a little girl my mother used to make a beef dish that I loved. I never knew what it was until I became an adult and learned it was called brisket of beef. I liked that the meat was tender, and full of flavor. Finding it in the market, however, was a chore. I would only see Corned Beef, which I like very much, but it’s not the same thing.
While I was thinking about that brisket I had as a little girl growing up in Germany, I realized that my mother never made it after we moved back to the United States. Maybe it wasn’t my mother’s dish after all, maybe it was our German maid, Elfrida’s brisket I remember so fondly.
Either way, when I found brisket at the local butcher shop, I knew I had to try making it. I figured I would do something similar to Oxen Shvantz Suppe – Braised Oxtails, which also takes a long time to cook. It’s hot and I didn’t want to be in a hot kitchen all day, so I used my 4 quart Nesco to slowly braise the brisket. It was delicious!
I am so happy that it is finally getting cooler in Southern California. As a matter of fact, there was thick cloud cover this morning, and I had to wear a sweater. It was a good day for soup.
After making Crab Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, I had a half a package of crab left over. I also had some cream left over from making something else. I knew I needed to use that crab, I needed to use the cream, and I wanted something warm. I have always liked crab bisque, so I decided to make that.
I had this brilliant idea when looking in my pantry and spying a can of Great Northern white beans. I didn’t have that much cream, and I really wanted the soup to be filling. To compensate for not using real crab, or real crab stock, I added a little anchovy paste for flavor. Both additions worked beautifully. Honestly, if you wanted to, you could omit the cream completely, as the beans do a fine job of thickening without all those calories.