Doesn’t that sound fancy-schmancy?   It’s soooooo not.   It’s basically a chicken casserole made with cider and mushrooms. 

Actually, this is a somewhat British take on the French classic, coq au vin.   And, last night, as the temperature took a swan dive into the Siberian region of the thermometer, the mister and I needed something warm and comforting  because I’m! Not!  Ready!!!  I’m not ready for freezing temps.  I’m not ready for sleet and/or snow.  I was just getting comfortable with autumn and they’ve gone and pulled the rug out from under me.

Now, I realize most of the folks reading this have a turkey the size of a beachball thawing in their kitchen, so the last thing you’re thinking about is more poultry.  However, if you have turkey thighs, drumsticks and maybe a little wing meat left over from the feast, you could definitely use the sauce, mushrooms and onions portion of the recipe to make a gorgeous dish this weekend when you’re recovering from Black Friday.  Served with the last of the mashed potatoes and you’ve got a yummy dinner that would take next to no time to prepare.

Coq au Cidre et Champignons  (Chicken with cider and mushrooms)

  • olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp flour, salt and pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs, skinned with the bone in
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • shallots – 12 if the size of chestnuts, 6 (halved lengthwise) if the size of plum tomatoes
  • 2/3 lb mushrooms, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/3 cup hard cider
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 heaping tsp each dijon mustard, grainy mustard
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 275 F.

Heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Put the chicken pieces in a bag and shake with flour, salt and pepper to lightly cover, then brown for a couple of minutes on each side.  Don’t over-crowd the pan – do 3 or 4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of your pan.  As the chicken browns off, place it on the side as you get on with the rest of the dish.

After the chicken is done, add the butter to the pan, then brown the shallots for 3-4 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and thyme to the pan and continue to cook until the mushrooms release their liquid.  Check for seasoning.  Add the chicken back to the pan, pour in the cider and bring to the boil, then pour into a casserole dish with a lid and place in oven for an hour and a half. 

When the chicken is cooked, pour only the sauce into a pan and bring to a simmer, add the milk, creme fraiche and mustards and reduce until slightly thickened (it’s not going to get thick like a gravy).  Pour back over the chicken, top with the parsley and serve.

mmmm ... comfort food ...

Now, then … if you’re using leftover turkey meat, I would start at the point where you saute the onions and mushrooms, adding the chicken and cider and bring to the boil.  Cook at a slightly higher oven temp (300-350 F) for only about 20 minutes or so until everything is heated through and the onions are soft.  Then do everything else the same.

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