Recipe Time

Like a lot of you I have been cooped up in the house because of this crazy winter weather.  Not sure how we I can stand to stay inside much longer!  There’s only so much cleaning and reorganizing you can do before going absolutely crazy.  So what I have I been doing?  Reinventing recipes to make them healthier, of course! 

I love fancy food!  My time in culinary school taught me to appreciate what a respectable dish is and my dietitian skills have let me make my favorites into something I don’t feel so guilty about eating!  I have turned some of my favorite “naughty” foods into some healthy dishes that taste great (at least my husband and I thinks so) and I’m always proud to serve to dinner guests. 

I’ve decided to share with you one of my all-time favorite make over recipes!  This dish sounds daunting but is really easy and tastes amazing!

Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

-1/4 cup olive oil

-1 whole chicken cut into 6 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs), skin removed

-all purpose flour for dusting chicken

-kosher salt

-freshly ground black pepper

-2 cloves garlic, chopped

-2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed

-2 cups baby bella mushroons

-1 small bag baby carrots

-1 bottle of Burgundy wine (sometimes I just use a bottle of 2 buck chuck Cabernet Sauvignon)

-2 cups low sodium (or if you can find it sodium free) chicken stock/broth

-5-6 sprigs fresh thyme

-2 teaspoons herbs de Provence

-3 bay leaves

-Fresh parsley, for garnish

In a dutch oven heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Dredge each piece in flour shaking off any access to have a light coating.  When oil is hot (not smoking) add chicken pieces.  You may have to do this in batches.  Brown chicken on both sides (3-6 minutes per side).  After chicken is browned add garlic, onions, mushrooms, and carrots (and the rest of the chicken and their juices, if necessary).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Gradually stir in the whole bottle of wine and chicken broth.  Add herbs, stir, and cover.  Simmer for 1 hour.  When the hour is up uncover the pot and let simmer for another 15 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.  If you like a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and keep warm.  Mix 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour to make a paste.  (Note: The calorie and fat count below does not account for this added pleasure)!  Turn heat up and blend flour into sauce.  Let boil a few minutes until sauce is desired consistency.  Taste sauce and adjust seasoning to taste. 

I cut my chicken breasts in half as they are usually pretty big.  This makes them a better portion size. 

Plate chicken with vegetables and sprinkle with chopped parsley.  I serve this dish with mashed broccoli/cauliflower as well.  Fair warning: in my house this serves 6 people.  Portion sizes have gotten a little out of control and some may feel that this is not enough for six people.  Something to keep in mind if you are planning to make this for a crowd.

My Coq Au Vin:                                                          Original Coq Au Vin:

Calories: 362                                                              Calories: 690

Fat: 11g                                                                      Fat: 38g

Sat Fat: 4g                                                                  Sat Fat: 11g

 

Hope you all enjoy this recipe!  If there is a recipe that you love and would like to know how to make it healthier please share and I will do my best to “healthify” it!

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Wow, it’s almost April!

So it was just pointed out to me that I have not blogged in a long time!  My, how time flies!  I am working on a new blog now but thought to keep things going I would mini-blog on food safety today.  This is a pretty important topic as food-borne illness is a serious concern and if you have ever had any type of food poisoning you know how much it sucks!   So here are a few tips to keep safe:

1.  Thaw meats in the refrigerator over night (in a leak proof container on the bottom shelf just in case your package leaks).  You may thaw meat under cold running water, just keep meat in the original packaging.  Make sure that raw meat is not at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

2.  Sanitize all areas that raw meat or egg has touched!  Especially your sink.  If you wash your meat off in the sink before cooking make sure to wash all surfaces including the sink, the faucets, and the counter tops around the sink.

3.  Cook meats to their appropriate temperature.  Chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees F.   Red meat is a little bit trickier.  Ground meats of any kind should be cooked to at least 165 degrees F while steaks and roasts can be cooked to 145 degrees F.  Remember if you are at a high risk (Pregnant, breast feeding, etc) always cook meat to well done!

4.  Make sure to put leftovers away within 2 hours.  Pack leftovers in as shallow of a container as possible and put immediately in the refrigerator.

5.  Keep foods separate.  Don’t use the same cutting board for meats that you use for vegetables or fruits.  Make sure to clean your utensils if they touch anything that raw meat has touched.  As a personal rule of thumb I always cut fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. before touching any raw meat.  This makes sure I do not cross contaminate!

6.  When reheating foods make sure they are hot and steaming.  If you have a thermometer, the internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.

7.  I almost forgot this but thankfully remembered!  DO NOT FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS!  Wash for at least 30 seconds or the amount of time it takes you to sing happy birthday twice!

 

For more information on food safety you can visit the USDA’s food safety website at  http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=food-safety.