Monthly Archives: January 2015

French Chicken Classic – Coq au Vin

Coq au vin
Coq au vin – a French classic.

Ever since we watched Julie & Julia movie, we’ve been wanting to try Coq au Vin which was featured in the film. It’s one of the famous French classics, it’s full of flavor and it’s easy to cook, too. The ingredients costs about 10 euros and it’s gluten free and suitable for paleo diet!

Ingredients for Coq au Vin

  • 1 whole chicken – pollo entero
  • 150 (5 oz.) of bacon – panceta
  • 3 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 4 shallots – chalotes
  • 1/2 a leek – puerro
  • 2 carrots – zanahornas
  • 200 g (7 oz.) of mushrooms – champiñones
  • 4  cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 bottle of red wine –  vino tinto
  • 3  bay leaves – hojas de laurel
  • 3 sprigs of thyme – ramitas de tomillo
  • 3 teaspoons of sea salt – sal marina
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Cut the chicken to a good size chunks. Leave the bones in the legs and wings, they bring flavor to the dish. First cook the bacon crispy. Brown the chicken cuts on a high heat in the bacon fat so that they get a nice crispy skin. They don’t have to be fully cooked at this stage. Put them on the side to wait along with the bacon.

You may notice that we didn’t use bacon in the pictures. This is due to the chicken, which was so called pollo corral. It’s fattier (and tastier) than regular chicken and we didn’t want this dish to be too heavy. But pork belly strips are true to the original recipe.

Peel the shallots and garlic and mince them. Chop all vegetables and mushrooms, but not too fine (see the pictures below). Sauté the onions and vegetables in butter for a few minutes, add the chicken and toss in a Dutch oven. Pour the wine on top.

Add all the seasoning including bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and cover with lid. Let the pot simmer on stove top for 40 minutes. Add liquid (chicken stock, red wine or plain water), if the ingredients are not fully covered. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Ingredients for Vegetable Puree

  • 3 large sweet potatoes – batatas
  • 5 parsnips – chivirías
  • 3  carrots – zanahornas
  • 4 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 1 tablespoon of honey – miel
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Peel and chop the vegetables. Boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes. Strain the water and save for later. Let the vegetables rest for a few minutes so they cool down a bit. Add butter and honey and mash the vegetables with potato masher. Add cooking water to get the structure right. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

¡Buen provecho!

Flank Steak Salad

Skirt steak salad
Flank steak salad with chili lime cilantro dressing.

After Christmas dishes people enjoy having something lighter for dinner. Salad is an obvious choice, but can you make a salad taste good and still be nutritious without being too heavy?

One of our favorite salad is a flank (or skirt) steak salad. Flank steak is a wonderful cut for grilling, because the meat is marbled with little bit of fat making it juicy and moist, yet it’s a lean cut. And that marbling brings all the aromas from grilling into the meat making it very tasty. Therefore it doesn’t need much seasoning except salt and pepper. No marinating, no fancy sauces. And it’s a cheap cut, too!

Ingredients for Chili Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of extra virgin olive oil – aceite de oliva virgen extra
  • juice of 1 lime – zumo de lima
  • 1 chili – pimiento picante
  • 1 red bell paprika – pimiento rojo
  • a punch of cilantro – cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic – diente de ajo
  • a pinch of sea salt – sal marina

Chop cilantro leaves, garlic, chili and bell paprika fine. Combine with rest of the ingredients and season with salt to taste. Let the dressing rest in the fridge while making the salad and steak.

Ingredients for Flank Steak Salad for 4 Servings

  • 1 whole flank steak – entraña
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • salad leaves of your choice – hojas de ensalada
  • 1 sweet onion – cebolla dulce

First prepare the flank steak. Remove the membranes from the steak. You can use a paper towel to get a good grip of the membrane. Season with salt and pepper. Grill 3 minutes per side on high heat and let it rest on a cutting board while preparing the salad.

Wash and dry the salad. Cut the onion into half-rings. Mix with the salad and toss on the plates. Scoop a few tablespoons of dressing on top.

Slice the steak into 1 cm (1/2″) cuts and place on top of the salads.

¡Buen provecho!