Monday, January 11, 2010

What's Cooking?

Or, as my 10-year-old son puts it, "What's this garbage?" I dig New Year's resolutions, and one of mine this year is to improve my cooking skills. Whether I am succeeding so far depends on who you ask, apparently.

So, I'm attempting to expand my culinary horizons ("Huh?", says the 10-year-old) by trying a new recipe every week. Today was a chicken recipe called coq au vin. This appears to be French for chicken with wine. Since I don't cook with wine, I'm not sure why I picked this, except that the rest of the ingredients sounded good to me. Adapting it to be made without the alcohol makes me wonder what I should really call it. Coq?

I started by hacking a chicken into pieces, which was an adventure in and of itself. I had to do a search online to find instructions on how to do it properly, which I believe I mostly did. I cut up five slices of bacon and sauteed them with 2/3 cup chopped green onions. Once the bacon was crisp, I removed it from the pan and browned the chicken pieces. I sliced 5 small onions and put them in the bottom of the crock pot. Then the chicken went on top, sprinkled with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon basil. Then the bacon and green onions went on top of that, followed by a half cup of chicken broth with one minced garlic clove mixed in. Then it cooked for 8 hours and smelled divine. I thought it was quite tasty, my 15-year-old son downed it without hesitation, my husband declared it "pretty good" though he found the white meat a little dry (not sure how meat cooked in broth all day can become dry), and my 10-year-old, well, I finally had to set a timer and force him to eat it under threat of dire penalties. I believe he said it was "blah". Given the labor involved and the lukewarm response, I'm not sure I'll make this again, though I can see recycling the bacon-on-chicken theme in the future. Perhaps as a casserole--coq au cracker crumbs? Hmm.