Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Feast in A One-Pot Kitchen

Okay, we have more than one pot. But not much more, and what we do have is grossly below the standards of the normal Houston kitchen. We don't have an oven, for God's sake! But, both Jon and I have managed to cook some delish meals in this petit cuisine, and now we can add one more to the memory bank.

Because the weather has suddenly and definitively taken a turn towards the cool and fallish side, I've recently had a mean craving for hearty dishes. The other day, Megan and I decided to make just such a meal-- coq au vin. We decided this around 5 pm however, so we knew we couldn't make traditional coq au vin which calls for the chicken to marinate overnight in wine. Searching on my favorite recipe site,, I found just the answer- Quick Coq au Vin. Making it would require just under two hours. We set out to buy the ingredients.

Because I wanted Megan to get the real experience, we went to different, specialized vendors to buy the supplies, rather than getting everything at the grocery store. We went to the cheese shop to buy our before -dinner snack, to the Fruit and Veggie shop for the carrots, onions, celery, and mushrooms, to the butcher for the chicken (it had its head still on, which really freaked Meg out, especially when the butcher chopped it off on his big chopping block). We did sell out and go to Shopi for the wine and the pasta, but we were tired of walking at this point and already hungry from our dreams of the meal to come.

Megan prepped all the veggies. She was particularly impressed with our garlic stash-- a bunch of garlic heads we bought at a food festival way back in January. For some reason, they've stayed nice and fresh. In Florida, the garlic always sprouts. Maybe it's the variety or just the drier conditions here- who knows?

Because I know nothing about this sort of thing (and Jon was at work), I asked the butcher to cut up the chicken. Dredging the parts in flour, we browned the chicken and set aside.

The veggies had to be cooked in two batches because we don't have a pot big enough for doing it all at once. Once browned, we added a WHOLE BOTTLE OF RED WINE. We'd already broken into one of the bottles purchased for the occasion, so we knew Jon would have to be dispatched for more once he got home.

By this point, the smell in the apartment was OUT OF CONTROL!!!! Once Jon got home and smelled the winey, chickeney goodness waiting for him, he happily ran out to get more wine. Meanwhile, Megan and I kept sticking our faces over the pot to inhale the delicious scents.

Did I forget to mention that we also bought smoked bacon from the butcher? You can see it there on the plate. It imparted a fantastic flavor to the dish.

Once stewed a bit, the veggies and wine were joined by the browned chicken, bacon, and some stock I had leftover from the chicken and rice dinner.

The whole mix cooked for 45 minutes. We added cooked farfalle pasta at the end and voila! It was fantastic, but as we were STARVING and a bit tipsy at that point, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. You'll just have to make it yourself to see what it looks like.

Quick Coq Au Vin

  • Butter and/or olive oil (we used both)
  • 2 or 3 thick slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 handful flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 to 10 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, rinsed and halved
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 bottle good red wine (I've learned you should never cook with wine you wouldn't drink.)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook the bacon in a large pot until crisp. Set aside.
  2. Shake the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour in a paper or plastic bag.
  3. In the same pot as you cooked the bacon, add butter and brown the chicken, 4-5 minutes per side. Set aside with the bacon.
  4. Add more butter and/or olive oil to the pot and sauté the veggies until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour half the wine into the pan and cook over high heat for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and the remaining wine. Bring to a boil and then add the chicken, bacon, and the bay leaf. Salt and pepper to your tastes.
  7. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions (we used farfalle, but any short-type pasta would do. You could even use rice or potatoes if you were so inclined).
  9. Serve the coq au vin over the pasta. Bon Appetit!

*Note: We did play with the recipe a bit, so if you looked this up on, you would notice a difference. I also forgot to mention that this will serve 6 normal people or 4 fatboys.


  1. I will have to try this when it gets cold here! In like three months.

  2. Salivating just thinking about it! Thanks for the recipe -- I'll be making this one again.