Monday, December 28, 2009

Coq au Riesling

Tonight I had a taste for something hearty. I pulled out a few cookbooks and the first one I opened was Nigella Express. I haven't made too many recipes from this one and I knew that her food would be perfect on a cold winter's night. I didn't have to flip through too many pages before I saw her recipe for Coq au Riesling and I left for the store right away.

Wow! My house smelled amazing while making this one. Something about the bacon and chicken simmering together... It is a very easy recipe and besides slicing up the bacon and some veggies, everything just gets dumped into the pot.

I did have to make a few substitutes though. I couldn't find a leek at the store so I substituted green onions. I don't think I tasted them so I would definitely like to try this with a leek. Also, I didn't write down the amounts for the bacon or the mushrooms. I ended up with enough bacon but not enough mushrooms. I got some kind of chef's mix which has some oyster mushrooms and some other types as well. I do wish I got twice as many because the mushrooms were really great in this.

Unlike Nigella's suggestion, I ate this one as soon as it was ready and I did indeed add the cream. She's right and it probably would have tasted better the next day, but it was still really good and my entire family really enjoyed it. I did serve it with buttered German egg noodles and that was a really good combo. But there was so much amazing juice in the pot it might have been good enough to serve this in bowls with big hunks of crusty bread.

Coq au Riesling
Serves 6

2 tablespoons garlic-infused oil

1 cup cubed bacon

1 leek, finely sliced

12 skinless chicken thighs or 2¾ pounds thigh fillets

1 750-ml bottle Riesling wine

10 oz. oyster mushrooms, torn into strips (4 cups)

3 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

heavy cream, optional

1 to 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill

Heat the oil in a casserole or large wide pan and fry the bacon until crisp.

Add the sliced leek and soften it with the bacon for a minute or so.

Tip in the chicken thighs, wine, mushrooms, and bay leaves.

Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, cover the pan, and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring in the cream for the last couple of minutes if you want. Like all stews, this tastes its mellowest best if you let it get cold and then reheat the next day. But it's no hardship to eat straight off. Whichever, serve sprinkled with dill, and with some buttered noodles on the side.