Ok, as you all know, when I post a recipe that is invented, I’m shit with the amounts of things. What you may not know, however, is that I never have a problem replicating my own recipes, so I think the issue is that I go by “feel” rather than by measurement, and my “feel” is consistent, even if I don’t communicate the measurements perfectly. So. Here are the ingredients I used, with asterisks for ones that I’m not certain about.
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 tbsp crushed red pepper*
2 cups* chicken stock (I used homemade; I believe it probably made a major flavor difference)
1/2 to 1 cup pinot noir (the same one you’ll drink with the meal)*
2 chicken thighs (but I bet you could do 4 with the above measurements of other ingredients – ish – and it would be fine, as I ended up with probably what for most people would be way too much sauce and veg; if you wanted to do more chicken, then you’d just add more of the other stuff, I suppose), bone in, skin on
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat but I’m sure all-purpose would be fine, too)
1 tbsp light butter (though obviously full fat butter would likely be fine, too – it’s just about what I had on hand)
salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a pot that can go from stove-top to oven.
- While the oil heats, season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and then coat in flour.
- When the pot is hot (ha! that rhymes) brown the chicken in batches (as is necessary… this is more an issue if you use more chicken) until the skin is crispy and browned, a few minutes each side.
- While the chicken is cooking, dice your onion.
- Once the chicken is browned, take it out of the pot and put on a plate or platter or whatever.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the onion in the fat that remains in the pot, scraping off any delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pot. You want to cook the onion until it just begins to brown, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
- Once the onion is in the pot, peel and chop the carrots, throwing the carrots in with the onion, stir them around, and then raise the heat to medium-high. Season with salt and pepper, and also the crushed red pepper.
- While all of that is happening, peel and mince your garlic (I suppose you could use a garlic press, but I sort of don’t believe in them – basically, I feel like the fewer gadgets the better, and this is especially true since I bought my Knives of Tenure, which are AWESOME. If you have crappy knives, though, you might want to do the garlic press.)
- When things are about a minute from being done, throw in the garlic. (Basically, you don’t want the garlic to burn)
- Once all of that is done, then you want to add the wine, and bring it to a boil.
- Once the wine is at a boil, then add the chicken stock, and bring it back up to a boil, and boil for five minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pot, and make sure the liquid/veg is covering the chicken. Cover the pot tightly with foil and stick it in the oven. Set the timer for one hour. Go about your business.
[But actually, if you’re me, you set the timer for 30 mins. And when it goes off, you head back to the kitchen and you dice three slices of bacon and throw them in a pan and make them crispy. While the bacon is becoming crispy, you mince maybe a half-cup of onion* (I did half of a medium-sized onion) and you destem a bunch kale that you washed earlier and chop it to like 1 inch pieces. When the bacon is crispy, you use a slotted spoon to take it out of the pan, and, with only two tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan, you throw in the onion. When the onion is soft, you throw in the kale, and you dump like a cup of chicken stock on top of it, and with the heat on medium-high to high, you stick a lid on it and cook it for 13 minutes. Once that’s done, you begin to make some creamy polenta. (That’s the recipe I use, but I like to finish with some parm and a bit of butter – makes it even more delightful – and I usually use skim milk ’cause it’s what I’ve got on hand.) And once the 13 minutes are up on the kale, you remove the lid and cook it until the chicken stock has evaporated.]
And then – like magic! – it’s time to take the chicken out of the oven! And you do, and then you put all the veg and the chicken on a plate or platter or something, and then you bring the liquid back up to a boil. Once it’s boiling, you add a tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of flour (like, scattering it as you add it) and you whisk like your life depends on it until the cooking liquid (a delicious melange of stock, wine, and chickeny vegetably goodness) reduces and thickens to a nice saucy, gravy-ish consistency. (This only takes maybe 5 minutes)
And then, you stick your delicious meal on a plate – chicken that is falling off the bone and yet the skin is not mushy, carrots that are divine and firm and yet supple, if that makes sense, creamy polenta, and the greens which have some tooth to them, with the crisp of the bacon. And the SAUCE. I could drink it.
And no, there’s no picture, because other than my problems with measurements, my other problem as a food blogger is that I always forget to make a pretty plate and take a picture because I’m so stoked to eat what I cooked.
Now, since I don’t know if the measurements are totally right, you might not be able to actually make this for yourself. But take it from me: it’s AWESOME. (I forced myself not to eat all of it – rather, I was responsible and put away all the leftovers immediately upon finishing my one serving. And I was entirely satisfied…. and yet? If I had not been doing weight watchers for over a year? I’d totally have eaten every stinking drop and drunk the extra gravy. It was that good.
And yes, I did all of that just for myself. Not for a dinner party, not for guests from out of town, not for a boyfriend or for my parents. Because you know why? Sometimes it’s nice to do that sort of thing for yourself.
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