I hate snow and I hate being cold. But I take pleasure in winter for two reasons — cute outerwear and delicious stews.
This winter, I’m rocking the cutest purple plaid wool pea coat. I stuck a big feather brooch on the lapel and, ta da! Super-cute.
And tonight, I made a batch of quite possibly my favorite winter meal ever: Coq a vin. As much as I love eating it, I hate stumbling through the pronunciation (French words unsettle me!) — so when I talk about it, I call it chicken stew.
A good coq a vin has a few very important ingredients: A flavorful red wine, lots of rosemary and thyme and …. bacon. Just a little. Added at the end.
This coq a vin recipe, taken from Weight Watchers Slow Good cookbook, makes use of the crock pot, a kitchen gadget I tend to associate with winter. As an aside, I almost always plan to make this on a Sunday and I almost always realize too late that I don’t have a suitable wine. In Pennsylvania, liquor stores aren’t open on Sunday. So I always end up making this on a Monday morning and letting it cook on a low heat in the crock pot all day.
One note: This is really good over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. But the recipe’s nutrition facts only take into account the chicken and sauce. Also, it is a little fussy for a crock pot recipe. But I love it so much, I can forgive the few steps at the beginning.
What you’ll need:
2 slices turkey bacon
1 3-and-one-half pound chicken, cut into eight pieces and skinned
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 large carrot, chopped
3/4 cup of red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 10-ounce package of fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use shitake, but button or baby portobella mushrooms would work, too)
2 cups of frozen pearl onions
1 cup of reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Cook turkey bacon in a large non-stick skillet until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and refrigerate. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add half of chicken pieces to skillet, turn heat to medium-high and cook until browned, turning once, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer chicken to 5- or 6-ounce quart slow cooker. Repeat with remaining chicken.
3. Add chopped onion to skillet, lowering heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Stir in carrot, wine, tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Pour over chicken in slow cooker. Add the mushrooms, frozen onion and 3/4 cup of broth. Cover and cook until chicken is fork tender, about 4-5 hours on high, 8-10 hours on low. Cover and refrigerate remaining 1/4 cup of broth.
4. At the end of cooking time and using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a deep serving dish. Cover and keep warm. Combine flour and 1/4 cup of broth in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in about 1/4 cup of slow-cooker liquid. Stir the mixture into the slow cooker. Crumble in bacon. Cover and cook on high until the liquid thickens, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Pour sauce over chicken.
Makes 8 servings (one piece of chicken and scant 1/2 cup of sauce)
Nutrition per serving:
6 grams fat
10 grams carbohydrates
2 grams fiber
25 grams protein