Cabernet Chicken Stew with Mushrooms and Tarragon

chicken cabernet to post

Another lovely recipe from the Bob and Melinda Blanchard (Cook What You Love),  this comforting stew is based on a traditional recipe for coq au vin.  When you add the red wine to the chicken it will turn a ghastly shade of pink but fear not, this will mellow into a warm rosy hue as it cooks.  This stew is wonderful served with pasta, rice or couscous.

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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces and patted dry

1 large yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 pound mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat the oil in a  large oven proof casserole over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes.  If the size of your pot does not allow the chicken to cook in a single layer, it would be better to do this in two batches, combining them with the second batch is done.

Add the onion and mix it around with the chicken,  Cook until the onion is almost soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook another 2 minutes,  Then add the mushrooms and cook 2 minutes longer.  Add the chicken broth, wine, cream, lemon juice, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper and mix well.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes,  Season with more salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 4-5

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Becky McKinney’s Chili

This is the chili that I grew up with and I’ve never even attempted to replace it because in spite of it’s simplicity, everyone loves it.  The secret lies in buying the best quality ground sirloin and the long and slow cooking time.  You will know when it is done….it starts off loose and watery but transforms into a beautiful thick and rich dish.  This is not a spicy chili so feel free to add cayenne pepper if you like.  I like to serve it mild and let everyone season it to suit their own tastes.  My frayed, splattered and yellowed recipe card attributes this recipe to Becky Mckinney so thanks to her wherever she may be.

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For Chili:

3 lbs freshly ground sirloin

3 cans Campbells Tomato Soup

3 cans diced tomatoes with the juice

3 cups chopped onions

3 cups chopped celery

2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

3 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 tablespoons chili powder

To Serve:

Chopped fresh tomatoes

Chopped scallions

Grated cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Hot Sauce

Saltine Crackers

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Brown the meat lightly in a large, heavy ovenproof casserole…such as Le Creuset.  Stir in next 4 ingredients and cook for 5 minutes.  Add kidney beans, garlic and chili powder and stir.  Cover and bake in oven for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.  Serve with toppings.

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Baked Chicken and Orzo

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This is one of only 3 casseroles that have a place in my recipe binder.  Now, I love casseroles, I grew up on them in small town Mississippi.  But they just never went over very well with my eaters.  And if I did make a “casserole”, I was always careful to rename it.  For example, a chicken noodle casserole might become Roasted Chicken with Linguini.  This Baked Chicken with Orzo was a hit, I believe, because of the extra large pieces of chicken breast that become melt-in-your-mouth tender while baking in the silky buttered tomato sauce.  Recipe from Casseroles, Classic to Contempory, by Nina Graybill and Maxine Rapoport.
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6 chicken breast halves, skinned and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons olive oil
28-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons butter (original recipe calls for a whole stick of butter…go for it if you dare)
salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces orzo
2 cups chicken broth, heated to boiling
Brown the chicken pieces in the oil  While chicken is browning, simmer the tomatoes, butter, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper in an uncovered saucepan for about 20 minutes until somewhat thickened.
Place chicken in a 3-quart ovenproof casserole with a lid.  When tomato sauce has cooked down a bit, pour over chicken and place covered casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Add orzo and boiling broth to the casserole and mix gently.  Cover and return to oven for 30 more minutes.  The recipe notes that you can add more hot broth if the dish seems dry before the orzo is tender but I have never had to do that. Serves 6
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