Paleo Quick Coq Au Vin

4 11 2009

Oui. I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking, what kind of silly French dish is this?  Coq au vin?  Really? 

The original French concoction was a way for provincial French wives to make use of an old rooster and took a long time to prepare.

My version is quick and easy and best of all, fits into the paleo diet.

Note, I personally do not eat mushrooms.  I leave them out when I make this, but I will put them in the recipe for those of you who do enjoy them.

So, let’s get to the food!

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

5-6 strips of thick cut bacon

Package frozen pearl onions (thawed)

2-3 carrots

Container of cremini or button mushrooms

¼ cup of almond flour

2 tbs of tomato paste

1 ½ tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

3-4 cloves garlic minced

Red wine of choice

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks and put in a zip top with almond flour.  Shake to coat.
  2. Peel carrots and cut into ¼ inch slices.  Set aside.
  3. If you choose to partake of the mushrooms, wash them and cut them into quarters.  Set aside.
  4. Cut bacon into half inch strips (these little chunks of bacon are refered to as “lardons” by the French) Put into large skillet or stew pot over medium heat.  Brown.
  5. Remove bacon.
  6. Add onions and carrots and cook until they start to caramelize (get brown and release their sugars), about 5-10 minutes.  Remove the onions.
  7. If you are a mushroom eater, now is the time to add them and brown them.  Pull them out and set them aside.
  8. Add chicken to the pot.  Brown.  Pull chicken out.
  9. Put garlic and tomato paste in the pot along with the rest of the almond flour from the chicken.  Cook for a couple of minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic)
  10. Add in a little wine and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (This is known as de-glazing)
  11. Add in half to three quarters of the bottle of wine.  Add in spices, carrots, chicken, onions, and mushrooms. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the broth starts to thicken.
  12. Sprinkle bacon over the top and serve hot.

I like to serve this over spaghetti squash or zucchini that has been sliced into strips and sautéed until soft in olive oil and garlic. 

coqauvin

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Lamb Stew

11 10 2009

Remember that 5 lb lamb I got the other day and used half to make the Morrocan spiced lamb?  Well, I’m thawing out the other half to make a delicious lamb stew.   (I’ve found it helps in grocery shopping for the week if you have meals that share ingredients. You don’t have to make them back-to-back for variety’s sake, but it saves on the grocery bill.)

On to the stew!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs bonless lamb leg

1 medium onion diced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 tbs tomato paste

2 cups beef broth

2 cups red wine

3 tbs olive oil

3 tbs almond flour

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

bay leaf

 

How to assemble:

You ever notice how on cooking shows, they just throw things in the pot from these neatly pre-chopped piles?  Well, it’s much easier at assembly time, if you take a little time up front to chop up all your veggies and meats so that when it’s time, you aren’t running back and forth to the cutting board.

So, start by peeling the carrots and chopping up them, the onion, and the celery.  Put into a big bowl along with 3 cloves of garlic that you mince up.

Then cut the lamb into bite sized chunks.

Pour olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  Heat up on medium high heat.  Brown the lamb in batches.  Nothing containing liquid will brown properly if crowded in a pan — this goes for meats, poulty, and mushrooms.  So work in batches and brown the lamb.  Don’t worry about cooking it through at this point.  Once browned, pull out of the pan and put on a plate. 

Next, add the veggies and garlic to the pot and let them cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and almond flour and then cook another couple of minutes.  Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  (This is called de-glazing, for those non-chefs out there who want to impress their friends.)  Then add the beef broth and the lamb chunks. 

Leave uncovered and let the liquid cook down (again, cooking term here would be “reduce”) for about 30 minutes. 

Turn off the heat and let the stew settle for about 10-15 minutes so that you don’t burn yourself.

Fish out the bay leaves.  If you can’t find them, you can do what my mom did when we were kids and tell everyone dining on the lamb that whoever finds the bay leaf gets to make a wish.

I would serve over smashed cauliflower.

lambstew