Over the weekend Greg and I visited the Dallas farmers market. As always, Greg and I got lost trying to find it, despite the fact we’ve been there multiple times.
Neither of us are used to Dallas’ sprawling highways and often accidentally end up on the same exit lacking, multi-lane freeway en route to Houston. After several miles of near death experiences we finally were able to exit only to find ourselves lost in the middle of a ghetto.
We drove around for almost an hour passing the same bail bonds signs, liquor stores and abandoned parking lots until we finally found a sign leading us in the right direction. We came upon a building we thought was the farmers market but as we turned the corner quickly realized it was a very crowded methadone clinic.
Feeling defeated we were about to give up when we saw a majestic white horse round the corner. A family wearing Oklahoma T-shirts sat in it’s carriage as they took pictures of the surroundings. We both decided this tourist trap must be associated with a more picturesque local. Slowly following the equally out of place equestrian ride we finally were led to the market.
It is still somewhat early for most local produce but I was able to find some fresh pearl onions and parsnips. After some brain storming I decided to create a coq au vin recipe using white wine, chicken thighs and the fresh vegetables I acquired earlier in the day. Being the tedious meal it is Greg offered to be my sous-chef and several hours later our kitchen smelled like the French countryside.
This is in no way a practical recipe for a mid week meal, but it has definitely found a place in my recipe arsenal for future dinner parties and special occasions. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
2 Tbsp. Flour
2 Tsp. Herbes de Provence, divided
1 ½ pounds bone in skin on chicken thighs, washed and patted dry
7 bacon slices
1 Tbsp. salted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
20 pearl onions
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into thin 1 inch batons
2 celery stalks, cut into thin 1 inch batons
4 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cup Chardonnay
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Fill a medium pot with cold water and place pearl onions inside. Over high heat bring water to a boil and cook onions for 2 minutes. Strain and place onions in an ice bath. Slice off the root end and squeeze to remove the skin. Set aside.
Dice bacon slices into 1 inch pieces and place in a pot of cold water. Bring water to a boil and blanch bacon for 5 minutes. Drain the bacon and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and set aside. (Blanching the bacon is a necessary step because it removes a lot of the salt, trust me! Julia Child told me so!)
In a shallow bowl combine flour, 1 tsp of Herbes de Provence, ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper and ½ tsp salt. Dredge chicken in flour mixture until the surface is completely coated. Set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook blanched bacon over medium heat; About 6 minutes. Remove bacon ensuring the fat remains in the pot.
Add butter and olive oil to reserved bacon fat and over medium heat brown the prepared chicken thighs; about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove thighs and set aside.
Stir in mushrooms, pearl onions, parsnips and celery and cook over medium heat until they become tender; about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
In the meantime, combine Chardonnay and chicken broth in a saucepan and warm over low heat.
When vegetables are tender return bacon and chicken to the pot. Add bay leaves, remaining Herbes de Provence, and warmed wine mixture. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn chicken and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.