Pollo Tempranillo

Having opened a bottle of red wine last night, I thought I might use some of it in cooking tonight’s dinner.  I had taken a package of chicken breasts from the freezer yesterday so I knew I’d be using that as the protein.  The only wine-focused dish I could think of was Beef Bourguignon (aka Beef Burgundy).  I had that once, in 6th grade, at Disney’s Epcot Center.  My 11-year old tastebuds were definitely not prepared for the complexity of such a dish. I believe I traded with my dad.

When I got home, I looked up Beef Burgundy and found a few recipes that I thought I could modify. I mostly worked off this one at RecipeZaar

Ingredients

3 slices bacon, chopped before cooking
1 lb chicken breast, cut in to 1 inch cubes
1/2 onion, sliced
2 portabellas and 1 handful shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 sprigs each thyme and rosemary, fresh
approx 1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
sage, 1/2 tsp divided
1 1/4 cups medium-bodied red wine like tempranillo, merlot or a shiraz.
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
Olive oil
1/4 cup flour & 1/4 cup water combined
salt & pepper

starch of your choice but I recommend noodles

Directions

Cook bacon over medium heat in large saute pan or dutch oven.  When cooked, remove bacon to a bowl leaving fat/drippings behind.  Add chicken and garlic to hot pan and brown the outside of the meat, 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and season with salt and pepper.  Depending on how much fat is in the pan, add enough olive oil to equal 1 tablespoon.  Add onions and mushrooms to pan, cook 3-4 minutes until vegetables are softened. Remove from the pan and add to bacon in bowl.  Return chicken to the pan along with any juicee. Add add wine, broth, thyme, rosemary and half of sage along with tomato paste.  When you add the first liquid, use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.  Remove lid, add flour-water mixture then mix in mushrooms (and onions and bacon) and rest of sage. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes until sauce thickens as desired.

Notes:

In retrospect, I would have made this with chicken thighs. I think the darker meat would hold up better to the longer cooking times.  No matter what meat you use, adjust your cooking times to create tender but not overcooked meat.

Adjust seasonings as desired.  Thyme seems to be consistently included in the recipes I looked at.  I like rosemary in everything and I just bought some sage so it seemed like a reasonable addition.  I think my tastebuds are still off-kilter from the antibiotics and their side effects* so I probably under seasoned this dish. Chris didn’t seem to mind.

Tonight, I served this over garlic-parsley fettuccine but I think it would be pretty tasty over mashed potatoes too.

*I’m off the antibiotics now despite still having some issues.  Woke up Sunday morning to a rash all over my arms and legs. One trip to Urgent Care later, I’m itchy and officially allergic to penicillin.

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