Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bloom or Boil

I've been wanting to do more with edible flowers in a creative way for a long time. Look at this georgous platter of nasturtiums on what looks like cream cheese, perhaps flavoured with herbs. The basil and dill leaves really set it off for a truely whimsicle statement. I just wish my nasturiums were flowering now so I could do a similar thing this weekend for my dinner party. But it's nearly winter now and I find myself cooking typical comfort food to snuggle in with. The slow cooker comes out and here is my version of Coq au Vin:

2 carrots
12 pickling onions
2 sticks celery
8 portabello mushrooms
6 chicken thighs
3 chicken legs
Prepare and chope celery and carrots. Peel and leave onions whole (or halve if large). Slice mushrooms. Saute the lot until it just starts to colour. Set aside. Then, dust chicken with flour & brown in a little oil in 2 batches. Set aside.

3/4 cup red wine (I use Shiraz)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup pasta sauce
2 bay leaves
several sprigs of thyme - stripped

Put all of this into a slow cooker for 6-8 hours. Take the legs out before they start to fall apart (otherwise you had bits of knuckle and other gross stuff floating around) or don't use them. Scatter generously with parsley and enjoy with the rest of the Red.
This is even better the next day!