Friday, December 4, 2009

Chicken: Two Different Meals

Chicken stew for all! I was watching Chef at home and saw that he had served a chicken and mushroom stew. I missed what he did but I figured I am capable enough to figure out my own stew.
I browned six chicken thighs in one pan and caramelized onions in the other. I lay green onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms in the bottom of a large pot along with the herbs parsley, savory rosemary and thyme. (sage went on vacation) Once browned the chicken was laid on top and I filled it with water to about an inch and half over the chicken.
Once it came to a boil I added in around 1/2 cup of corn meal (yup, polenta again) and some black pepper. I let that cook for a couple of hours on low heat, stirring occasionally. I also added in 2 ounces of bourbon. I am not sure how it affected the flavour of the stew in one's mouth, but it did loan an aromatic quality, and seeing as how it is made from corn it would match up nicely with the corn meal I would expect.
The fist nights serving was overly peppery, but it seemed to become more tame with each meal. The flavour improved and was the best on day four. I tore up some multi grain bread and served the stew over top. Mmmmmm.

Last Night I made a roast chicken. The Bulk Cheese Warehouse sells free range birds and they are delicious. I decided to make it a warm up to when I prepare Coq au Vin.

The stuffing: I mixed yellow and bue corn meals together and cooked them with some dried kale and mixed in margarine. In a pan I sauteed onions, rosemary, sage and thyme with some hot panchetta and mixedthat into the corn meal and kale. I had enough left over so I had that with carrots and the chicken heart and liver for dinner proper.

The bird: After stuffing the bird withthe corn meal, I poured around 600mL of red wine over top and place in the same herbs I used in the stuffing along with a bay leaf. On top of the that went button mushrooms and a number of pearl onions. I then melted some butter and drizzled it over the top of the chicken and sprinkled pepper over top of that.
I set the oven to broil to brown the skin. I have never actually seen wine burn, but I did last night. It had no affect on the contents - i.e. nothing was burned - and the fire went out when I quickly opened and then closed the oven door. I place a lid on and covered my beautifully browned bird.

The gravy: In a small pot I had water with some salt, pepper, carrots and diced onions and mushrooms. I simmered it for a while with the chicken liver and heart in the pot as well. Eventually I removed the carrots and seared the heart and liver for my dinner. (I prepered the bird for future meals) When the bird was done I cupped out the wine stock and placed it into the gravy stock. To thicken I used blue corn meal (which was more like a course flour) and two and half tblspns of cocoa powder. I cooked that for 20 minutes.

The results: Wow. Great bird, fantastic stuffing and an incredible gravy. The cocoa really makes it and suggest using it with any wine based stock.

- Magnus


grapecat said...

sounds yummy. i find both beer and Dijon mustard to be essential ingredients to chicken stew...

Magnus said...

Hmmm, that sounds like a good idea. I have used beer to cook a roast chicken - sort of semi roasted and stewed. I used Unibroue's Blanche de Chambly and I had particularly so-so bottle of Fuller's Vintage ale that I used. (a 2003 or 2004 bottle I think)