Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicken & Wine... x2

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can not tolerate wine.. beer.. alcohol of any kind. I've tried. FAIL. Last night Avi even tried to teach me how to "like" wine- and as good as it looks in the glass, my face is not so pretty when I drink it. I just can't help it! At my wedding, the photographer caught a priceless picture of my face drinking the wine at Sheva Brachos. Anyways, my first stint of cooking with wine was a few months back, and I completely forgot to blog it until today, when I made a different wine chicken dish. Hence I will post both today, one simpler than the other. The first chicken dish I made with bone-in chicken legs and thighs & white wine (I forgot exactly which kind, but in the liquor store- first time ever(!!) I asked for a white wine that would be good for cooking and took what I was given), and the second with skinless boneless chicken breasts & red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon). The inspiration for my own journey with cooking with wine was from a chicken marsala that I ordered at Off the Grill (I believe it was there). So as an extremely wine-uneducated individual, when I sought out to make my own chicken marsala... with white wine, my friend Tzivie so kindly let me down easy by letting me know that marsala is red. Oh well, what do I know. I still decided to go for the white wine, so I can't technically call my dish chicken marsala but it was still damn good!

NOTE: Dijon mustard (i.e. my favorite- Grey Poupon) is NOT the same as honey mustard (i.e. French's)

Dijon Chicken with White Wine & Mushrooms
For the chicken:
-8 pieces bone-in chicken (thighs & legs)
-Dijon mustard
-1/4 cup flour
-Zest of 1 lemon
-salt and pepper
-Dried Italian seasoning
-1 sprig fresh thyme
-Olive oil

-Heat a layer of olive oil in a large saute pan
-Add salt, pepper, 1/2 the zest, italian seasoning, and the chopped fresh thyme to the flour on a plate
-Brush each piece of chicken with dijon (you can take the skin off but I think it's better with, even though the skin ends up coming off anyway) & then dip in the flour herb mixture
-Once the oil is hot (test it out first), add the chicken skin side down. Sear just a few minutes on each side (until skin is lightly golden brown)- the goal isn't to completely cook it here. Just to get a nice sear and color. About 4-5 minutes per side, more or less.
-Transfer to a plate & preheat the oven to 400

-1 large onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-10 ounce container sliced mushrooms (I used sliced baby bellas)
-3/4 cup white wine
-1 cup low-sodium broth (I used TJ's Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth; Imagine makes Kosher vegi broth and chicken broth as well)
-1 tbsp. dijon mustard
-1 lemon, sliced
-2 sprigs of thyme

-Saute the onions in olive oil on medium high heat in the same saute pan. Once translucent, add the minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened.
-De-glaze the pan with the wine, stir over high heat and let come to boil, about 2 minutes. Then add the broth & dijon. You don't need to cook the wine for that long on the stove because it will finish cooking in the oven.
-Add the lemon slices, and the thyme, & add the chicken back to the pan. Make sure you are using an oven safe saute pan.
-Cover tightly with foil & cook for 20 minutes.
-When the chicken is done, you can thicken the sauce with flour or cornstarch (I did).
I know this is a lot of steps, but it is well worth it. You can definitely substitute with white meat if that is your preference. The next recipe is much easier, and took less than 15 minutes to come together.

Drunken Chicken Cutlets with Apricot & Mushrooms
When a recipe refers to something as "drunken," it's not that hard to figure out that it was cooked in wine. I always liked the term, so I decided to use it :-). This recipe is not chicken marsala, because I used a cabernet wine (I just happened to have it in the fridge) and not marsala so I couldn't call it that.

-4 chicken cutlets (these were actually 2 big boneless skinless chicken breasts that I cut in half with a filet knife- very easy to do, more bang for your buck, and portion control as well)
-3 tbsp. flour
-Garlic salt
-Olive oil
-1 medium sized onion
-1/2 tbsp. sugar
-salt and pepper
-2 cloves of garlic
-1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (or a little less than a 5 ounce container)
-1/4 cup red wine
-2 tbsp. apricot preserves
-1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-2 tbsp. water (I didn't want to mask any of the flavors with a broth, which is why I used water)

-Heat a layer of olive oil in a saute pan
-Sprinkle garlic salt in the flour, and coat the cutlets. Add to the pan when the oil is hot
-You can fully cook them now, or par cook them and finish them later in the sauce-it's up to you. These chicken cutlets take like 4 minutes max per side since they are not too thick (but not too thin either).
-When done, transfer to a plate, add a little olive oil to the pan followed by the chopped onion. Season with salt & a the sugar which helps caramelize the onions.
-When translucent, add the garlic and mushrooms and saute a few minutes.
-Add the wine to de-glaze, bring to a boil & then add the apricot preserves, water, and balsamic. Let saute on boil a few minutes and then bring the heat down to medium high. The goal here is to cook out the alcohol on the stove so you're left with a sauce that is not so strong. This dish does not get finished in the oven like the previous one.
-Let the onions/mushroom mixture saute for about 5-7 minutes, before adding the cutlets back in. I thickened the sauce with 1 or 2 tbsp. flour (through a fine mesh strainer, while stirring, to eliminate clumps). I wanted the mushrooms and onions to absorb most of the sauce, so that it would be more like the consistency of a chutney, and not a runny sauce.
-Turn the chicken in the sauce so that it gets coated, just for a minute or 2.
-Garnish with dried or fresh parsley

You can play with the proportions as you desire... Now this is wine I can tolerate! Hope you enjoy, and have a good Shabbos!


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