Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chicken in Riesling

     With the break from school/work, I have been trying out some new recipes.  Many have been quite good and I want to share as many as possible.  So perhaps for some posts, I will just send out a recipe for you to try.

     Many of you will know about Coq au Vin, which is chicken cooked in red wine.  A sister dish to this is Coq au Riesling or Chicken in Riesling.  This dish, native to the Alsace region of France, uses the local wine, Riesling as the base of the sauce.   I remember visiting Strasbourg last December with the family and we had a wonderful lunch at a very traditional Alsatian restaurant.  Dear Husband had this dish and it was wonderful.  Recently, I found the recipe published back in 2008 in Gourmet magazine.  While 88% of the reviewers said they would make it again, I was still surprised at some of the negative comments.  This is an easy "company" dish that is one-pot and you can easily bring the pot to the table and serve from there.  Not too complicated and wonderful flavors.  We were lucky enough to serve this dish with a bottle of our favorite Riesling, purchased in Eguisheim last May.  

Chicken in Riesling
adapted from Gourmet, 2008

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken cut up (backbone discarded)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 to 4 leeks (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 4 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1 1/2" slices
  • 1 cup dry white wine (preferably Alsatian Riesling)
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F with the rack placed in the middle of the oven.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat oil with 1 tbsp butter in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until foam subsides.  Brown chicken in several batches, turning once.  Take your time with the step as you want the chicken to brown nicely.  Watch the pot and don't let the oil start to burn.  If the heat is too high, lower it.  The browning should take 8 to 10 minutes each batch.  Transfer to a plate.

Pour of the fat from the pot and then cook the leeks, shallot and 1/4 tsp salt in remaining 2 tbsp butter over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until leeks are pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the wine and boil until reduced by 1/4 to 1/2 cup, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of the good stuff loose.  Add the carrots and the chicken, skin side up.  Cover pot and braise chicken in the oven until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

While chicken braises, peel potatoes and place in a saucepan.  Cover with cold water and add 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Drain in a colander, then return to saucepan and add parsley.  Shake to coat.

Take chicken out of the oven.  Stir creme fraiche or cream into the chicken mixture.  Watch at this point.  If the sauce is not thick enough, take out the chicken and heat the sauce at medium heat until it starts to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.  Add back the chicken and the potatoes and serve.

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