Musing with Max

Musing with Max

February 26, 2012

Oscar worthy

When I was a kid, teenager, young adult; I loved to watch the Oscars. I would get so excited and it wasn't because I wanted to see what everybody was wearing which is pretty much the only reason I watch them now, when I do, but it was because I was genuinely interested as if I had a stake in this or some such nonsense. I also used to got to the movies a lot. I needed to see everything right away. Well not everything just everything I thought was worthwhile which had to fall into certain standards--my standards which were high fallutin' and snooty, and I must say still are; hell when I was in high school I was the movie critic for the school newspaper and boy was I critical. Anyway, things have changed. I (we) don't go to the movies very often at all anymore--or should I say--never. I'm not quite sure why but I imagine it has to do with several factors, for example: there aren't that many movies that capture my attention anymore (Saw, yuck!), there's cable, there's Netflix, those prices!!, those really uncomfortable seats! And I've mellowed, my opinionated snootiness doesn't have to be discussed endlessly with those lacking cultural taste! OK, I'm really not that bad, I won't begrudge anyone their love of the Saw series; I just won't discuss it, I just keep my mouth shut--really. I can wait to see everything when it comes out on DVD, it's no big deal, as I get older I guess the importance of things change. This year was a little bit different though, I really wanted to go and see "The Artist" at the theater. Why? It seems so different, it's silent, it's in black and white, it's French, it has that really cute guy in it. But alas, we didn't go and here is Oscar night so it's too late. However, we can still somehow celebrate (and not like those crazy people who put on a tux and evening gown and sit in front of their TV as if they were in the audience). We'll do it with food! So when Lui, Frank's best friend and father of his godson
called and asked if they could come for dinner we went French.

Coq A Vin- adapted by me
Serves 6 to 8

5 slices of bacon cut in one inch pieces
about 1/3 cup of olive oil
1 large onion coarsely chopped
2 cups pearl onions (I use frozen so I don't have to bother with peeling)
1 large garlic clove minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp butter
2 chickens cut up (should have about 12-14 pieces, or use parts you like)
3/4 cup flour
salt & pepper
herbs de Provence
2 cups of red wine ( something Burgundian)
1 cup of chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms

1. Cut chicken in pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Mix flour with salt and pepper and herbs de Provence and dredge chicken pieces in flour.
3.In a large pot heat one tbsp of olive oil then add and saute the bacon pieces over medium heat until they begin to change color. Add the chopped onion, carrots and garlic and saute until the vegetables start to soften. Add the pearl onions and saute for a few minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
4. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and one tbsp of butter. Brown the chicken pieces over medium high heat on all sides, do this in batches so as not to crowd the pieces
adding more olive oil and butter with each new batch as needed

Once all of the chicken pieces have been browned, return them all to the pot along with the sauteed vegetables and stir to incorporate.
5. Add 2 cups of red wine and one cup of chicken broth, IF NEEDED. Bring to a boil and stir up the pieces at the bottom of the pot. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about one hour.
6. Add the sliced mushrooms for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
7. Remove the chicken to a serving plate

Taste and season the sauce with additional salt & pepper if needed and spoon over the chicken.
This dish can be made early in the day and then heated in the oven, the flavors will intensify.

Serve with baked rice and a nice green salad, and friends and wine

and make sure no one gives your dog any scraps from the table hence he'll be like this the next day

or maybe he's just worn out from this

And the Oscar goes to.....

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