Holiday Deliciousness

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Foodie Advice | 7 comments

Ahh, we’re here–that time of year where you can eat as much fancy, rich food as you want without feeling guilty. Well, sort of. You may need to spend a couple of hours on the treadmill after eating any of these recipes. Enjoy some of my favorite dishes and Happy Holidays!


Serves 4-6

3 strips of bacon, chopped       4 tab butter        2 1/2- 3 lbs chicken parts with bones

1/2 tsp salt         1/4 ts pepper          1/4 c cognac or brandy

3-4 c red wine     2-3 c beef stock          1 tab tomato paste    3 tab flour

3 cloves crushed garlic         fresh bouquet of herbs:  thyme, oregano, & rosemary tied with string (no yarn!)

  • Melt 2 tab of butter in a large frying pan.
  • Sautée bacon in butter over medium heat until browned.
  • Remove the skin from the chicken. (I do this to cut the fat a bit.  You may choose to leave it on.)
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place into the hot fat in the pan, cooking for 5 minutes per side over medium heat.
  • Pour the cognac over the chicken and then light it with a lighting tool or match.  (Stand away from the pan as the flame will flare up immediately)
  • Shake the pan back and forth over the burner until the flames die down.
  • Transfer meat and all of the juice and drippings into a soup pot.  Pour the wine over the chicken, followed by the bouillon.  You should use just enough of the bouillon to cover the chicken, so you may not use it all.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and add the bouquet of herbs.
  • Bring to a very soft boil then cover the dish.  Let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the chicken is tender.
  • Meanwhile, make a roux with the remaining 2 tab of butter and flour.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan.  Add the flour to form a smooth paste, cooking it over medium low heat for 5 minutes.
  • When the chicken is done, remove the chicken into a dish.
  • Take out the herb bouquet and turn up the heat to bring the remaining liquid to a rapid boil.
  • Reduce the liquid to about 2 cups or so. Using a wire whip, beat the butter roux into the reduced liquid, simmering for another couple of minutes.
  • It won’t be thick like gravy, but should coat a spoon.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the chicken and serve with sautéed wild mushrooms and mashed or roasted potatoes.


Serves 3-4

1 lb pork tenderloin            1 tab butter          3 tab white wine

3/4 c creme fraiche or heavy cream          1 tab fresh thyme and sage, chopped

4 oz  or 1/2 Camembert cheese wheel, rind removed              1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

fresh black pepper to taste

  • Slice the pork crosswise into small steaks  about 3/4 in thick and pound them flat with a rolling pin until 1/2 in thick.  Sprinkle with pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan then add the pork, cooking for 5 minutes and only turning them once.
  • Transfer to a warm dish & cover to keep them warm.
  • Add the wine to the meat pan with drippings and boil.
  • Stir in the cream and herbs, bringing back to a boil.
  • Add the cheese and mustard until melted.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Place meat on four plates and spoon the sauce over the meat.  PIG OUT!


Serves 4

3-4 lb whole chicken       1 onion, quartered       4 tab olive oil

2 medium fennel bulbs       1 clove minced garlic      pinch of nutmeg

3-4 slices pancetta         1/2 c white wine

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse and pat chicken dry.  (Be sure to remove the innards.)
  • Place in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Discard the stalk off of the fennel, reserving only the fronds.
  • Mix chopped fronds with the garlic and nutmeg.  Rub the chicken skin with 2 tab olive oil followed by the garlic mixture.
  • Place quartered onion inside the cavity of the chicken.
  • Cover the chicken breast with the slices of pancetta.
  • Meanwhile, quarter the fennel bulbs and steam until slightly tender.
  • Place in the casserole dish around the chicken and drizzle them with remaining 2 tab olive oil.
  • Cook the chicken for 30 minutes.
  • Pour 1/4 c wine over the chicken and fennel, basting both the drippings and the wine.
  • Cook for 30 minutes longer and repeat.
  • Cook for 15-25 minutes longer or until meat thermometer reads 170 and remove from the oven and serve.



Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice

    Coq a Vin is one of my favs. The pork medallions sound divine—I may borrow your recipe soon. Cheers!

  2. E.B.Pike

    Oooh –these look soooooo good. Camembert Cream? Count me in! 🙂

  3. Beth F

    Wow! I don’t know which one I’d go for first. I had to laugh at removing the chicken skin to cut down on fat when I saw the bacon and the amount of butter in that first recipe. But, hey, I guess every little bit helps.

    • Heather

      It’s true–you aren’t saving much in the way of fat calories, but to leave the skin on means the chicken is swimming in fat instead of flavoring the wine broth. I found I was skimming off too much. But it IS delicious the other way. lol.

  4. Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

    The pork medallions recipe sounds AMAZING! My mouth is watering 🙂

  5. Elizabeth

    This looks delicious. I recently made a slow cooker version of coq au vin and was blown away by the taste. I’m sure the more authentic preparation makes it taste even better!

  6. Diane (bookchickdi)

    All of these look wonderful! I haven’t made Coq au vin in so long, I should make it today.

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