Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Morning Walk

Vineyard in winter with frost covers vine plants Stock Photo - 1478168

A nice crisp early morning walk through the vineyard. The dogs kicked up a rabbit in the brush, if I still hunted it could have turned it into a delicious dish for dinner tonight.  Perhaps a hunters stew.   The walk and my imagination of a delicious dinner  set my mine into think what I could have for dinner. Without the rabbit Bella kick up, I could use chicken. Here is the recipe

This recipe can serve 4-6 normal people or one hungy old dog.
  • legs, wings and thighs of 2 pheasants or chickens
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound smoky bacon, cut into batons or 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound chanterelle or other fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 10-12 small  onions or shallots, peeled but whole
  • 1-2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Armagnac or other brandy
  • 1/2 cup vermouth
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch or arrowroot
  • Chervil or parsley to garnish

  1. Salt the rabbit or chicken pieces well and let them come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  2. In a large, heavy frying pan, get the olive oil hot over medium-high heat. Pat the pheasant pieces dry and brown them well. Do not crowd the pan and adjust the heat so you get a good sear without scorching.
  3. As the chicken pieces are done, put them into a pot or Dutch oven with a lid. When they’re all browned, pour in the Armagnac and bring to a boil. Add the crushed tomatoes, turn the heat down to a bare simmer and cover.
  4. Wipe the frying pan out well. Bring it to high heat and add the chanterelles. Shake the pan constantly until the mushrooms begin to lose their water. They should squeak in the pan until then. Dislodge any that get stuck on the pan with a wooden spoon.
  5. Once the mushrooms have lost most of their water, add the butter and stir-fry until they begin to brown. Sprinkle them with salt. Once they look lovely, add them to the chicken.
  6. Add the onions or shallots to the pan, adding more butter if needed. Brown them well and add them to the pot with the chicken.
  7. Add the bacon and turn the heat down to medium. Fry the bacon until crispy, then add to the pot.
  8. Pour the vermouth into the pot, bring it to a strong simmer, then drop the heat to low, cover and cook for at least an hour. Check every half hour — you want the meat to almost fall off the bone.
  9. Taste the sauce for salt, and add if needed.
  10. When the meat is ready turn off the heat and ladle the juices into another pot. Mix the corn starch with the heavy cream well, then whisk it into the juices over medium-low heat. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook down until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon.
  11. Pour it back into the Dutch oven with the meat and toss in lots of chopped chervil or parsley.
  12. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta or crusty bread, and a light red, such as a Beaujolais or Grenache, or a dry rose or big white, such as a Viognier.


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