Friday, September 26, 2014

Tomato wine poached chicken a la king

Hi. Been a while. Sorry about that. Life has a tendency to get in the way of doing fun things like blogging. I made something for supper tonight that I had to share with everyone. It was that frakkin good.

Last night I poached some chicken breasts in homemade tomato wine that a friend of ours made. It was yummy, but I made too much and had a ton of leftovers.

After a quick pantry inventory I realized that we had all the ingredients that we needed for Chicken a la King.

First off, lets poach the chicken breasts.

I used 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts.
One bottle of homemade tomato wine (use chicken stock in a box if you prefer or don't have awesome friends who make you alcohol out of tomatoes)
1  yellow onion peeled and sliced into 1 inch sections salt, pepper and a blend of italian seasoning and herb de provence (or use whatever spices you want).

Put your chicken breasts in a pot add your spices, put the onion chunks on top and pour in your wine plus enough water to cover everything by an inch. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 40 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked, take the chicken out of the pot and shred them up. Put a little of your cooking water in the shredded chicken to keep em from drying out.

Last night we had shredded chicken tacos but there was so much chicken left over I decided to go a la king.

First, I measured out two cups of milk so it could come to room temp as I was doing prep work.
I took out my sauce pan and put it on medium heat with two tablespoons of butter. When the butter was melted, I dropped in one box of sliced baby portabellos and after a quick stir to get them coated with butter, I let them sit on lowish heat for about 15 minutes.

While the mushrooms were sautéing, I cut up 1 bell pepper and 2 small onions (or one medium. my onions were tiny) and added those to the pan. Stir everything together, turn your heat down and let them sit for about 10 minutes then stir them again. Let them sit for 10 more minutes, you don't want to mess with them too much. Let them sit in the pan on low so you can get some good color on them.
If you are going to be serving your sauce with pasta, now is the time to put your salted pasta water on to boil.  

It's time to get saucy.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in the pan. See all that lovely brown goodness in the bottom of the pan? That's what happens when you don't mess with your veggies when you are sautéing them.  The French term for those brown bits is fond. Fond is delicious.

When your butter is melted, add 2 Tablespoons of flour... more or less. What we are making is a béchamel. One of the mother sauces of French cooking and it is oh so yummy. This is one sauce you should know how to make because you can use it in EVERYTHING.

 When T.V. cooks say it should look like wet sand, this is what they mean. Keep this moving or it will burn and nothing is worse than the smell of burned flour... Unless of course you get pickle juice in your eye. (Google Ellen Pickle Juice if you didn't get that joke.)

 Stir the flour around. When it starts to get fragrant, you are ready to add your milk. Add the milk slowly, about 1/4 cup at a time to start. Mix the milk and flour together until its smooth so you won't have a lumpy sauce. After the first cup is incorporated in, go ahead and pour the rest of the milk in. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little nutmeg if you have it and stir.

Turn up the head then dump in your veggies and shredded chicken.

 Let the sauce start to simmer then lower the heat. You wanna stir constantly to keep the sauce from sticking. You really just want to heat the chicken up at this point and burned sauce is also almost as bad as pickle juice in your eye. While your sauce is thickening you can cook your pasta. 

I cooked some angel hair pasta and made a side salad to justify all the carbs I was about to eat. A little parmesan cheese and some hot sauce and it's time to eat. Ok a lot of hot sauce.