Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rachel Ray to the Rescue

Earlier this week I was reading The Hungry Dog.  She made a point that after all the Holiday fuss  what she really wants is a simple homemade meal.  I feel the same.  In this crazy week, between Christmas and New Year's Day, when life is moving so fast, I finally found the need for a 30 minute meal.  Not just a burger or a frozen Trader Joe's entree, but a flavorful comforting dish.  This recipe fits the bill. 

I never really enjoyed the whole Rachel Ray experience.  Don't get me wrong, I like Rachel Ray, she's cute, personable and always has a beautiful smile on her face.  But I always thought running around the kitchen grabbing ingredients and throwing a meal together to be akin to having a nightmare.  But the other night it seemed an appropriate moment to try a quick and easy recipe.  I decided to prepare Coq au Vin from the first Rachel Ray cookbook, 30 Minute Meals.  Of course I changed it a bit, but only a bit and the result was wonderful.  However it did take a bit longer than 30 minutes.  If you're really pressed for time, throw the carrot, celery and onion in a food processor. 

I served it over Acme Bread's Herb Slab.  I threw together a salad and the result was a quick and delicious meal.

2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup flour for dredging, on a plate

1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 package mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cups good quality red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 bunch fresh thyme

Slices of baguette, buttered and toasted
handful of parsley, chopped

Cut breasts into large chunks and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet,  heat oil until hot. 
Dredge chicken pieces in flour, shake off excess and place in hot oil.
Do not crowd the pan, or the chicken will not brown. 
Saute until brown, and remove. 
Once all the chicken is brown add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and thyme, saute until soft. Add the mushrooms and saute until they release their juice. 
Add the red wine, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. 
Add the chicken broth and stir in the tomato paste, bring to a boil.  
Add the chicken. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the broth has thickened. About 10 minutes. 

Serve over croutons, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

All photos are property of The Gypsy Chef


  1. this looks good... i still have no menu for tonight, the way i am salivating makes me think its time to race to the store!

    wanted to wish a very happy new years eve, can't wait to see whats cooking next year!

  2. This looks like a winner ..if you like it..I like it:)
    We are having a duo of fondues..Chinese..and cheese..

    Just quiet:)
    I wonder why your new posts don't appear on my little blogroll?

    I always come looking for you:)

    Have a Happy New have exciting things ahead..That's always fun!

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Pam! This coq au vin looks great, even if it comes from Rachel Ray! I love the idea of serving it over croutons...reminds me of the great roast chicken at Zuni Cafe served with bread salad. Put Zuni on your San Francisco list if you haven't been!

    Happy new year!
    Hungry Dog

  4. Hi Pam! I'm definitely going to keep this one in mind, it looks really good, and perfect for a busy day.

    Acme Herb Slab *sigh* that is one of my ALL time favorite breads but I can only get it when I visit home in the SF bay area. I miss it.

    Thank you for mentioning Hungry Dog's blog! I ditto the recommendation of Zuni Cafe... and it's a Twighlight Zone moment, I have the chicken in the fridge, prepped for roast chicken Zuni-style for dinner tonight!

    I'm wishing you all the best in 2010!

  5. Once in a Blue Moon, last night was your night.....a blue moon. Made me think of you! I'm sure your New Years was beautiful and delicious! It's been fun watching you create....can't wait to see what unfolds. Happy new Year to you!

    Nana, ya just never know where a little inspiration will come from!
    Not sure why my blog is not updating. I've been working on it, let's see what happens.
    Thanks for looking for me:)
    I love fondue. It's always a hit at my house. Enjoy!
    Have a wonderful New Year! Give those delicious grandkids a squeeze for me! Pam

    Mari, Zuni Cafe is now at the top of my list. The wonderful thing about San Francisco is I never run out of places to go.
    I received the Zuni Cafe cookbook for Christmas, I'll have to checkout the Roast Chicken. Thanks for the head up. Happy New Year!

    Hungry Dog, What can I say? I love reading your blog. You are a terrific writer and I can't keep up with the restaurants you mention. But please, just keep listing those restaurants, the crew and I enjoy trying them!
    Rachael Ray, who would dream?
    Have a Wonderful New Year Hungry Dog!

  6. Even though I am so OVER food after 2 weeks of eating..this dish does look devine!!

  7. A lovely coq au vin, it is!!


  8. Oh, you guys talking about SF makes me want to go there. I haven't been for a couple of years now. :-(

    This looks great, Pam. We don't get Rachel Ray here in Belgium. But we get GREAT coq au vin!

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I have to come looking for you too. Whazzup with that?

  9. P.S. I LOVE your new header. Is that from Notre Dame?

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  11. Pam>Ditto about the masthead, what a view! The dish sounds easy and perfect, and the photo is wonderful!

  12. Fig Tree, thanks for visiting. It's easy and tasty. I always think I am over eating and then another delicious recipe comes my way....

    Sophie, thanks for stopping by. Always nice to meet new bloggers.

    Kate, I've been working on the blog roll trying to figure it out. I may have to enlist a teenager! Yes it's Notre Dame. I've left my heart in Paris, Vichy, Cassis......somewhere in France.
    Lostpostremembered, Thanks, I was in a Paris state of mind when I changed the Christmas theme. So glad I discovered your blog. What's your given name, as my Grandmother would say?

  13. Must confess: I am not a Rachel Ray fan. At all.
    But will admit this Coq au Vin looks divine! Perhaps I better reconsider and watch her once in a while? ;)

  14. Barbara, I've never been a Rachael Ray fan either. But my son has been preparing recipes out of her first cookbook and I must say, they are OK. As a captive audience at the gym, I occasionally see her show, the last time I watched she was mixing all the Chinese carry out packets of duck sauce and hot mustard to make a dip for frozen egg roles. Enough said.