Milanese Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Sauce

This recipe comes from the book, “Great Women Chefs”, by Julie Stillman, published over a decade ago (Turner Publishing Inc.) and features America’s top female chefs of the time. This one is from Teresa Rovito, who at the time had just opened “Le Streghe” in New York (1994), to honor recipes of her Italian youth.

Thighs or legs are preferred to breasts because it’s darker meat and works better when marinated in the red wine vinegar. I’ve added mushrooms and carrots, and used pearl onions instead of shallots (you can leave them in the sauce whole that way). It’s a decadent, tasty gourmet meal that isn’t that tough to make.

INGREDIENTS

chicken thigh packet (8-10)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsps honey
2 tbsps brown sugar
2 cups red wine (cab or pinot)
1 cup beef stock
1 packet golden pearl onions (apx 15)
salt and pepper (to taste)
bay leaves (enough for each thigh)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsps olive oil
10 mini mushrooms (white or crimini)
2-3 small carrots, sliced thinly

METHOD

  1. marinate thighs in a plastic freezer bag with the red wine vinegar, honey, and brown sugar. Place in the fridge for minimum 1 hour, preferably 3-4.
  2. put pearl onions in a pot of water. Bring to boil. Take off from heat and pour cold water over till pot overflows. Drain fully. Put more cold water in the pot to cover onions. When cooled, skins will slide off if you slice one end of each onion.
  3. saute marinated thighs in an ovenproof pan (cast iron is perfect) for ten minutes, till browned on all sides
  4. meanwhile, pour wine and skinned onions into another pot and bring to a slow boil. Reduce by 2/3rds
  5. place a bay leave inside the fold of each thigh and place the pan in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes
  6. in another pan, use 1 tbsp butter to saute carrots (till soft), then mushrooms, till browned. Set aside.
  7. when the wine has reduced, add the beef stock and reduce again
  8. take out bay leaves and place thighs in a deep serving dish. Add carrots and mushrooms, pour sauce over chicken.
  9. serve with roasted potatoes and crusty bread (for dipping)

 

 

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A modern approach to a traditional dish

Pierogi has been around for centuries. A staple of Eastern European countries initially, they have been taken up by the French, the Italians, American immigrants, and now modern chefs.

Inspired by dishes created at the Loaded Pierogi in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, this dish is a fusion of Italian, Slovak, and American tastes. My wife says I was ahead of my time as I’ve been “bastardizing” traditional Pierogi recipes for about twenty years (my ex-mother-in-law was a traditional Czech, and my exposure to many European staples emanates from her table). Although the basic potato pierogi done in onions and bacon and topped with sour cream, is exquisite in its simple form, I liked the idea of adding sauces, sauteeing and baking (instead of boiling and grilling), mixing sweet and sour… and the list goes on.

So now that it’s a modern trend and no longer a sin, I don’t mind sharing my own creations. Sorry Bubba!

INGREDIENTS

10 pierogi frozen (making your own is an option, but a time-consuming one) I prefer potato filled to any other. LEave them in the fridge or wrapped on the counter until thawed.

1/2 cup tomato soup
1/2 cup marinara sauce
2 fresh tomatoes (skin removed) crushed
1/4 cup red wine
dash of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Italian salad dressing (I use Parmesan and Garlic- flavored)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tbsp each pepper and salt
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 tbsp marjoram
1/4 tbsp oregano (if you are missing one, put a 1/2 tbsp of the other)
If you have fresh oregano, use 4 sprigs instead of the dried ingredients

3 rashers bacon, cooked, wrapped in paper towels, and crushed when dried
1/2 onion, chopped

METHOD

  1. Cook onions first, to a golden hue
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and carrots and cook for 3 min, then add the soup and marinara. Bring to a boil
  3. While boiling add the paste and wine, then simmer for 10 min
  4. Add marjoram, oregano, salt, pepper, and continue to simmer for 5 min
  5. Meanwhile, cook bacon to a hardy crispness. Remove half of the grease
  6. Ensure the pierogi are thawed, not frozen and saute in the bacon grease until they firm up and brown slightly. Add the salad dressing and continue sauteeing for 10 min until pierogi are puffed up and browned

Place pierogi on dish side by side and pour sauce over them. Sprinkle crushed bacon over the sauce and serve. A nice tomato salad (Caprese or feta and tomato work nicely) can be served as a side.

This and other recipes occasionally pop up in the Artichoke Hart series (available here), or the London Cartwright series (available here). Both chefs are fictional… the dishes are not.

 

 

Debut Romance “Highland Hiatus”

 

The Menu for Passion series is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Though not what I want to be known for (thus the pen name), it is fun to be involved with. They are short novella’s and can be read in a couple of hours. The plan is to have several in a series, primarily to take advantage of the short romance trend. But also to share another part of me that stays hidden most of the time.

Book I: Highland Hiatus is available here in Kindle format only. Contact me if you want a PDF. The 3-part series will be printed sometime in the summer as a one-volume trade paperback.

PS: We ran a survey of 2 different covers and finally ended up with the above. What do you think?

Coming soon: Trinidad Tryst and Detroit Daliance