Repeat after me: slow cook, good wine, good friends. Repeat.
Yes it’s still a horrific winter despite that the calendar says March (seriously?) and yes, I’m still writing about braised meats cooked in bubbly wine enhanced sauces in my red pot. I’ve found it’s the only answer. Brown something, create a rich and delicious sauce, slow cook it in the oven in a red pot, buy some good wine, and find some good friends. Repeat until you’re barefoot in a sundress standing by mango pineapple chicken smoking away on the green egg grill. It’s the only solution that can shake the polar vortex grasp that seems to have so many of us going
just a little bit crazy.
Luckily, I’ve found when so much isn’t working right (too much snow too much cold too much not going to school not enough sun) this equation does work. As long as you have the time (hello nap jail!) the opportunities are endless as far as what can come out of the oven all browned and bubbly. Onto the table it goes – just add crusty bread, good wine & friends. And repeat.
Your dear friends will cheer you up. Your home will smell killer. And you’ll get that perfect deliciously full, red wine, good company haze that seems to carry on with you for a day or so. It doesn’t cure the polar vortex blues, but, it does take the slight edge off the fact that it’s -5 outside.
Need recipe help on what to get going in your oven? All of these rock the motto well: hearty, warm, and delicious…
Chicken and mushrooms, highlighted below.
Winter Pot Roast. Perfection.
Company Sauce, just toss with fresh pasta
1770 House Meatloaf. Winter isn’t winter until you’ve made this.
Brisket Tacos – hello margaritas!
Braised short ribs. Does more need to be said?
Pork Shoulder Ragu. Your home will smell insane.
You can’t go wrong, with any. Promise.
- 2 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chickens, cut in eighths
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 8 whole garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms, such as porcini and cremini, stems removed and (1 1/2-inch) diced
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 2 cups white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- 2 cups good chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Place 1/2 cup flour in a bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour.
- In a large dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the chicken in three batches (don't crowd them!) and brown lightly over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and continue until all the chicken is browned.
- Add the whole garlic cloves, mushrooms, and thyme to the pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sherry and cook for 1 minute, scraping up the brown bits. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the wine, chicken stock, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Add the chicken (large pieces first), cover, and place in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken to a bowl and discard the thyme. With a fork, mash together the butter and 1/4 cup flour and add it to the sauce.
- Simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Season to taste (it should be highly seasoned), put the chicken back in the sauce, and serve hot.