Saturday, January 29, 2011

LOTR, or How to spend an entire Saturday on the couch

This was originally posted on January 8, 2011.

I can't deny it: I am a huge nerd.
So when my two dear friends Lora and Krystal agreed to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies, in their entirety, back to back, I was ecstatic. I spent a whole week mulling over a Middle Earth themed dish to make. And then it hit me:

(still trying to figure out this Droid X camera)

While wrestling with the large assortment of vessels in the kitchen, I was having trouble finding what I needed: a dutch oven with a lid. So I minorly freaked out about how I needed a lid while my friends watched the Fellowship learn about the eye of Sauron.  The Eye of Sauron is, as everyone knows, Lidless. and Wreathed in Flame. Much like our coq au vin. It became the Coq au Vin of Sauron. I made roasted taters to serve on the side. Truly a feast of hobbit proportions.
The chicken is moist and the sauce is thick and flavorful. Simply amazing.

For your pleasure:
Simple Coq Au Vin
Adapted from

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped*
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil, divided*
1 (12-ounce) package white or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth*
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 large sprigs thyme


Arrange chicken on a large sheet of waxed paper. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat chicken all over with flour and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until golden and just crisp, 3 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Add chicken to drippings and cook until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large plate as done and set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter or oil in same skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until edges begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, garlic and salt and cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Transfer vegetables and broth to Dutch Oven (lidless or otherwise). Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle bacon over chicken. Add wine and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on 300 for about 5 hours. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Taters, Precious:
also from

2 pounds mixed fingerling potatoes, such as Russian Banana, French, Austrian Crescent and Ruby Crescent, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (1 clove)


For the potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the cut potatoes, olive oil, white wine, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Toss well to coat.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on two sheet trays. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue to roast the potatoes until they begin to turn golden brown, around 30 minutes more.

Remove both trays from the oven and stir a teaspoon of minced garlic into each sheet tray until the potatoes are well coated. Place the potatoes back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes until they are deep golden brown and the garlic is fragrant (but not burnt).

Side Note: our 12 hour marathon was an amazing success, accompanied by the mimosa, which may not be a traditional middle earth beverage, but I'm sure it would be if they knew about it.
Another day long marathon of movies and themed glutony is in the works, hopefully in the near future.

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