Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wine Sponge

This week's Barefoot Blogger recipe is Coq Au Vin, chosen by Bethany of this little piggy went to market (hers looks great!). This is like a French stew, and I made half of the recipe with chicken for Christopher, and half with tofu for me. First you brown some bacon in olive oil:

Then you remove the bacon and brown the chicken (I used a half breast), seasoned with S&P.

While that was going on, I seasoned some tofu that I had frozen and thawed with S&P, garlic, and chili powder (for the smokiness that the bacon would add to the chicken half of the dish).

Then I browned it in a separate pot in more olive oil.

When its all browned you remove the chicken/tofu and cook the carrots and onions until lightly browned. Lots 'o brownin' going on in this recipe.

Then add garlic (I only had garlic powder - its a travesty!) Then you add the meat/substitute back to the pan, along with Cognac (I used sweet vermouth, since its what I had on hand), wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon), stock, and thyme. Once its simmering you put the lid on and stick it in the oven to braise the meat for 30-40 minutes. Here's the after:

You make a paste of butter and flour to thicken the sauce, and saute some mushrooms in butter and add to the dish. I left out the frozen onions called for in this recipe.

Et voila! I think the chicken dish looks great. I served this over cheesy mashed potatoes, peeking out beneath the sauce below.

The tofu turned into little purple wine sponges.

So, the tofu dish was okay, but didn't inspire me to make it again. It would have been better had a I taken the time to press the tofu after the freeze/thaw process (it gives a much better texture). Chris thought I was crazy, until he tasted both. He rated the tofu half as a 2 out of 10, while the chicken half is much better, an 8 out of 10. Coq au Vin needs the oil from the chicken and bacon to make it really good I suppose. Chris also said the chicken was cooked perfectly and very moist, and the stew was good and hearty. In fact, he went back and ate most of what was left in his pan after dinner, so it must have been good. If you're an omnivore you should check this recipe out!


Mandy said...

Very creative! I have mine in the oven right now, can't wait to try it.

Michelle Ioapo A'etonu said...

looks greaty Misty! I would have gone for the chicken. Sadly, I had to back out of BB because I haven't been able to keep up! hope all's going well!