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Coq au Vin Blanc

Coq au Vin Blanc | @tasteLUVnourish | #coqauvin #chicken #whitewine #stew #comfortfood

If you asked me to name a dish I’d eat over and over again…it would be this one. Not only for the reasons you may assume. This incredibly warming meal is like a delicious hug in bowl and when the weather turns cool, it makes the entire house smell like home. But, what I also look forward to, is the process of cooking this meal. Each step gives such satisfaction, from the browning bits of fragrant pancetta to the golden crisp skin of the chicken and the fruity aroma of the wine.

Coq au vin is a very homey traditional braised chicken, usually made with red wine. I do love that recipe, but to be honest, I love this one more. The white wine is less overpowering and doesn’t affect the color of the chicken. I also use pancetta instead of bacon. Bacon in the US is very smokey and I do love that, but not in coq au vin. I think the smokiness takes over. I love the way pancetta lends great flavor, but stays in the background.

This, to me, is a wonderful weekend meal, when you have time to enjoy putting it together. It also makes a nice meal for entertaining. I tend to make this our Sunday dinner an awful lot. Leftovers warm up perfectly for another night during the week.

Coq au Vin Blanc | @tasteLUVnourish | #coqauvin #chicken #whitewine #stew #comfortfood

Coq au Vin Blanc

4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds), cut into pieces
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces white button mushrooms (or your favorite variety), sliced
1 large shallot, finely diced
10 ounces pearl onions, peeled (see Notes)
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 bottle dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
5 to 6 sprigs fresh parsley

In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the pancetta bits until golden and a bit crisp. Remove them, using a slotted spoon and set them aside on a small dish.

Add a bit of olive oil to the pot. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown them on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, in small batches. Put the pieces aside in a large dish as you work.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Add the mushrooms to the pot, continuing on medium high heat. If you need to, add just a smidgen of oil. Brown the mushrooms until they are a deep golden brown. This will give your dish great flavor. They will release some water during the process, but keep them going and do not add any salt at this stage. They’ll begin to dry up and get brown and delicious. Once they are, add the shallot, pearl onions, celery and carrot. Continue cooking until the shallots soften. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute. Add the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables.

Pour in the bottle of wine. Bring the wine to a light simmer and add the chicken broth, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and about 4 sprigs of the parsley along with the pancetta and chicken.

Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Sprinkle the remaining leaves of parsley over the top and serve with mashed or smashed potatoes.

Serves 8

Notes:

  • You can save some money by buying a whole chicken and cutting it up yourself. I like to do that, but in a pinch, you can certainly find one already cut.
  • Fresh pearl onions are a bit time consuming to peel yourself, so feel free to use the frozen ones. Just give them a thaw in a sieve before using. A trick to peeling the fresh onions yourself, is to drop them into a pot of boiling water for just about thirty seconds. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and the peels will pop off much easier.
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    Coq au Vin Blanc | @tasteLUVnourish | #coqauvin #chicken #whitewine #stew #comfortfood


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    Gazpacho

    Gazpacho | @tasteLUVnourish | #gazpacho #tomatoes #avocado #cucmber #healthy #vegan #vegetarian #soup

    While driving the other day, my daughter and I pulled into a roadside farm stand. There was the sweetest and most adorable older woman proudly arranging her tomatoes. For every basket my eyes landed on, she’d say, “Go ahead and try one!” That sweet lady knows exactly what she’s doing. I walked away with more tomatoes than I knew what to do with! I’m a sucker for sweet face.

    I owe her, though. She gave me an excuse to finally make gazpacho. A chilled tomato soup that I could eat every day. I haven’t made it in ages because…well…my family says they don’t like it. I made it anyway.

    Gazpacho | @tasteLUVnourish | #gazpacho #tomatoes #avocado #cucmber #healthy #vegan #vegetarian #soup

    Gazpacho has so many variations. I’d eat any one of them. Although, I will say, recipes calling for tomato juice…hmmm…not so much. I’ve interpreted my own idea of gazpacho many times, but this…this is my favorite. This recipe is based on the authentic preparation of gazpacho, but with a twist or two. Authentic Andalusian gazpacho, where it originates, uses bread to give the soup body and subtle flavor. The bread is traditionally soaked with water for about thirty minutes then drained before being processed with the tomatoes. I omit the water and instead, use the juices from the tomato. It’s wonderful, fresh, summery, and filling. I’m in love with this recipe.

    And guess what? So is my family.

    Gazpacho | @tasteLUVnourish | #gazpacho #tomatoes #avocado #cucmber #healthy #vegan #vegetarian #soup

    Gazpacho

    3 to 4 1″ slices of a crusty baguette (See Notes)
    2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut in half
    2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
    1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
    1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
    2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Garnish with…
    finely diced avocado
    finely diced cucumber
    finely diced red onion
    grape or cherry tomato slices
    a few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme (try regular thyme or basil if you’d like)
    freshly ground black pepper
    a squeeze of fresh lime
    drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

    Place the bread slices in a medium bowl topped with a fine mesh sieve. Squeeze the tomato halves over the sieve to remove the seeds and allow the juices to run into the bowl with the bread. Place the tomatoes into the pitcher of your blender as you work. Press the seeds and any pulp through the sieve using a rubber spatula or your hands. Allow the bread to soak in the tomato juice for about 20 to 30 minutes.

    In two or more batches, process the tomatoes, the bread and the rest of the ingredients in the blender on its highest speed until smooth. Pour each batch into a large serving bowl. Once done, use a whisk to bring it all together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

    Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with your favorites!

    Serves 4

    Adapted from Gazpacho Andaluz | Saveur

    Notes

  • Use your favorite crusty baguette. I love using a sourdough. Its tartness just complements this perfectly.
  • Traditionally, the crust is removed from the bread before soaking. I like to use the crust. I think it adds body and flavor.
  • Serve this as a light dinner or serve it as an appetizer in shot glasses with some colorful garnishes!
    Gazpacho | @tasteLUVnourish | #gazpacho #tomatoes #avocado #cucmber #healthy #vegan #vegetarian #soup