Saturday, May 11, 2019

Braised Onions

     Braised onions retain none of the bite of a raw onion; instead they are very tender and intensely savory. They work really well as a side dish or added to a stew such as chicken stewed in pomegranate juice or beef stewed in pomegranate juice. They also are a dish that involves very few ingredients, none of which are common allergens.



    3 Tb. oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 lb. pearl onions, peeled and washed
     3/4 c. chicken or beef broth (see Broth in the Glossary) or water
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     black pepper  (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1 bay leaf
     4 parsley sprigs, washed 
(See Produce in the Glossary)
     4 thyme sprigs, washed 
(See Spices in the Glossary)

     Heat the oil to medium in a thick-bottomed skillet and add the onions. The oil is hot enough when it makes an onion sizzle gently. Roll the onions around frequently so that they gradually brown more or less evenly without scorching. Once they are nicely browned (probably 10 minutes or so), add the broth, a sprinkle of salt, a sprinkle of pepper, the bay leaf, the parsley and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the onions are thoroughly tender and the liquid has cooked off (you can add small amounts of liquid during the cooking time if necessary to keep them from going dry). Salt and pepper to taste.

Almost done braising in chicken broth

Friday, May 10, 2019

Coq au Jus de Grenade (Chicken Stewed in Pomegranate Juice)

     Coq au vin, the classic French stewed chicken recipe, is rich, aromatic and wonderful. The conventional recipe includes a good dose of wine, which of course contains traces of yeast. The alcohol boils off, but the yeast remains and is still an allergen.

     This recipe relies on pomegranate juice for the rich, slightly tart, fruity flavors that would usually be provided by wine. It turns out that pomegranate juice, like wine, transforms simple broth into an intense, delicious sauceNote that juice freshly squeezed from a pomegranate is likely to contain less yeast than bottled juice. (See Juice iGlossary.) Fresh juice and bottled juice both contain a lot less yeast than wine.

     1 lb. pearl onions
     1 lb. mushrooms
     6-8 oz. bacon (See Bacon in Glossary)
     oil (See Oil in Glossary)
     1 chicken, cut up
     salt (See Salt in Glossary)
     pepper (See Spices in Glossary)
     1-1/2 c. pomegranate juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed 
     a few sprigs of thyme (See Produce in the Glossary)
     2 bay leaves
     chicken or beef broth (See Broth in Glossary)    
     2 Tb. rice flour
     (optional) handful of parsley leaves, washed and chopped (See Produce 
          in the Glossary)

     Saute the mushrooms, doubling the recipe given in the link but skipping the green onions, and braise the onions. Stash them together in the fridge. Fry the bacon in a large skillet; do not discard the grease. Cut the bacon into chunks not more than an inch long or half an inch wide; stash in fridge. Sprinkle salt and black pepper onto both sides of all the chicken pieces. Heat the bacon grease to medium, add oil if needed, and brown all the chicken pieces on both sides. Put all the chicken pieces into a large enough pot, and add the bacon, pomegranate juice, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour in enough broth to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked (somewhere around a half hour).

     When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the pot. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Skim the fat off the surface of the broth. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the broth rapidly to 2 cups. Stir the rice flour into a half cup of water. Gradually add to the broth in the pot, whisking it thoroughly and bringing it back up to a boil after each addition, until the sauce thickens up a bit--you may not need all the rice flour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put the chicken back in the pot, and add the onions and mushrooms. Heat for a couple of minutes, just until everything is hot again. Garnish with the parsley just before serving.