This week, Julia Child would have turned 100 years old! It is only fitting that the television outlet that many of us first saw Julia on, PBS, is featuring a #CookForJulia celebration! If you are a Foodie, or an aspiring Foodie, you simply must check it out. Not all her recipes are for everyone. I'm not sure that I am ever going to make Aspic (meat jello--for lack of a better description?) but many of her main dishes have become synonymous with a chef that possesses a refined skill.
So, are you ready for an admission? Until this week, I had never purposely sought out to cook a Julia Child recipe. *GASP*, I know! I'm so thankful for PBS and the #SundaySupper movement for featuring her recipes this week because what came out of my kitchen was the most magical smelling dish that has ever been created by my two hands. It's easy to see why Julia was such a revered chef.
For today's post, I decided to make a ragout. Ragout is just a fancy term for "stew". You can make stew, right? Right! Let's cook!
In a dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot, brown the chicken in the the hot butter and olive oil. This takes about 5-7 minutes per side. After browned, remove the chicken and set aside. Leave the oil in the pot.
Add the onions to the pan of hot oil and brown. This can take 15+ minutes, depending on the type of onion you are using. (**Note: I used frozen pearl onions from my local grocery store. I love the flavor and texture of pearl onions, but I hate the process of slipping them out of their skins. Frozen pearl onions is a convenience that I'm willing to live with to save myself time!)
To the pan of onions, add kosher salt and black pepper to taste, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, tomato. Lightly mix. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the red wine. (I used a Beaujolais because it's a nice, light red. Avoid anything heavy and old) Then, if the chicken is still exposed, add chicken stock to cover. Lightly mix again. Slowly simmer about 25 minutes or until chicken is done and tender.
When chicken is done, remove the chicken from the pot. With the onions and sauce that is left in the pot, do your best to skim off any oils/fat that is on the surface. I didn't fret too much about this step as my sauce didn't render too much fat. Increase the heat to a boil and reduce the sauce to your desired taste/strength. You may need to add additional seasoning to achieve desired taste.
Once the sauce has reached its desired taste, add the beurre manie. To make the beurre manie, simply mix equal parts very softened butter and flour. I would make sure that you have "too much" made rather than not enough. Once you start adding and mixing, it's hard to stop to make more. I'd rather waste a little beurre manie paste than run out!
Once the sauce had reached the desired thickness (should be able to coat a spoon), pour a few hearty spoonfuls over the chicken. Make sure to get lots of the onion! If you'd prefer, you could just return the chicken to the pot. This is probably not what Julia would do, but it's what I did and it worked perfectly!
To serve, pair it with a light red wine. Typically, use the variety that you used to make the ragout. In my case, we would serve with another bottle of beaujolais. (See how I mentioned the wine first? Julia would be proud!) To the side of the chicken can be potatoes with parsley or even a hot noodle. Some folks would serve with salad or another green vegetable. Be creative.
If you're interested in more Julia Child recipes, you should definitely check out the #CookForJulia posts by the #SundaySupper food blog community! You should also join us this week Around the Family Table for #SundaySupper! That fun starts on Twitter at 2pm CST with these fabulous recipes being showcased and ends with our #SundaySupper live chat at 6pm CST. This is a #SundaySupper you don’t want to miss!
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