Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Operation Get My Life in Order: The cooking edition

So, it's occurred to me over the last few weeks that although I like to think I totally have my life in order, in many ways I absolutely do not.  I typically have a PILE of laundry waiting to be done and it means eating from the drive through faaaaaar too often for my taste.  So, Operation Get My Life in Order (OGMLO) will now include spending some time on the weekend cooking up some make-ahead meals to eat during the week.  Yep!  I'm a genius!

This past weekend I made Slow-Cooker Chicken with White Wine, Tarragon, and Cream from "More Best Recipes" which is the companion to my favorite cookbook ever: "The Best Recipe".  I have to say this recipe is DAMN GOOD and made the house smell AMAZING.  If you have a slow cooker, try it.  You can thank me later.

Here it is:

4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds cremini mushrooms , quartered
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic , minced
1 3/4 cups dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves
1 pound carrots , peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
3 tablespoons Minute tapioca
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Uncover the skillet and continue to cook until the mushrooms and onions are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stire in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened and measures about 3 cups, about 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and stir in the broth, carrots, tapioca, soy sauce, and bay leaves until evenly combined. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and nestle it into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender, 4 to 5 hours.

4. Transfer the chicken and carrots to a serving platter and tent loosley with foil. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt the slow cooker and remove as much fat as possible from the surface using a large spoon. Remove the bay leaves, stire in the cream and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over the chicken and serve, passing the remaining sauce separately.

We served it over Israeli cous-cous and it would be equally good over brown rice or potatoes.  Total comfort food.

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