Tag Archives: comfort food

braised chicken breasts & garlic mash

despite having a mostly vegetarian diet, i love braised meat of any sort.

dear lord look at that gravy, salt, fat, and garlic content.

& tell me that isn’t heaven.

go ahead, i dare you.

braised chicken breasts
2 large bone-in, skin on, organic chicken breasts or thighs
2 large carrots (or pack of baby carrots)
2 stalks celery
1 onion, halved and sliced thickly
1/2 c. pearl onions
1 leek
1 clove garlic, minced
9 – 10 thickly sliced crimini mushrooms
low-sodium chicken stock
fresh thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage
5 potatoes

preheat oven to 300F/150C
using a mortar and pestle, grind herbs with about a tablespoon of good olive oil and a tsp ea of salt and pepper. gently rub herb mixture on chicken meat, under the skin. if using thighs, marinate in mixture for 30 minutes to an hour.
in a large dutch oven, heat olive oil and sear chicken breast over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. remove, set aside. drain some oil.
in the same pot, reduce heat to medium, add garlic until fragrant then add aromatics (celery, carrot, onion) and gently saute veg until fragrant.
add a sprig of thyme, mushroom, and sliced leek, saute.
season with s/p
return chicken to pot and gently pour chicken stock until covered halfway.
cover and place in the oven for 3 – 4 hours or until chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender

in the last hour of braising, peel & boil potatoes in salted water with a sprig of rosemary. when soft, after about 15 minutes, mash and add generous amounts of cream, butter (3tbsp), and herbs of your choice. i generally like to saute the herbs in some butter and add the flavored butter to the potatoes. yum.

separate yummy bits and drippings, set aside. in a large pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and a tbsp of  flour. whisk to make a roux. add drippings and stir until
errthing is gravy.


{think about going to the gym but then just food coma and die.}

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Braised Short-Ribs with Lardons and Vegetables

I’ve been craving something stew-y for a while and finally got the chance to make it while at a friends house. Sure, I couldn’t start til 5PM and it took nearly 4.5 hours to finish and is an extremely time-consuming, complicated dish but it was so worth it. So, so, so worth it– Fall off the bone short-ribs, salty, sticky stew, and sweet veggies. So great.

Lardons are such a great addition to this– technically, lardons are a cube or strip of pork fat but they can be attained by using cured belly meat such as bacon. Although lardon meat is not typically smoked (it’s cured), I think crunchy bacon adds a salty tang and crunchy bite to the stew. And it’s bacon. Come on. Bacon.

Braised Short-Ribs with Lardons and Vegetables
adapted from chef Barbara Lynch
4 – 5lbs bone-in beef short-ribs
1 pint (~1/2 quart) (low-sodium) good-quality beef stock (try using stock, if possible, or reconstituted beef-veal demiglace)
3 c. water
1 small onion, chopped roughly
7 carrots, chopped (or 4 carrots and 4-5 carrots-worth of baby carrots)
4 celery stalks, chopped
(2 parsnips, chopped)
(1 turnip, chopped)
1/2 summer squash, chopped into bite-sized cubes
2 c. dry red wine (such as a Merlot, Pinot, or Cabernet)
1/2 c. tomato paste (~ 5- 6 oz)
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 turkish or 1/2 california bay leaf
a whole pack of (slab) bacon
4 thyme sprigs
EQUIPMENT: 5 – 6 quart dutch oven (or some deep pot that can go in the oven at like, 350F) (mines like 4 quarts)

5 hours before dinner…

Preheat oven to 325F.

Season short-ribs with salt and pepper and brown all sides in a large dutch oven for about 6 minutes over moderate-high heat. Do not over crowd, do one batch and set the meat aside, then do the rest, remove, and let rest.

In the same pot, reduce the heat and cook the chopped onion, celery, and 4 of the carrots for about 7 minutes until softened and onions are slightly golden to make a mirepoix– a fancy name for a combo of uh, onion, celery, and carrots. Deglaze with red wine vinegar, wine, and tomato paste and boil until the alcohol has been removed and it is reduced by half. Add your stock, bay leaf, thyme, and water and bring to a boil. Add ribs and any liquid and blood that have accumulated.

Cover and stick the pot in the oven until ribs are extra-tender. This will be 2.5 to 3+ hours of sitting and waiting but it’s so worth it. The bones add so much flavor and the low temperature really make the meat tender. While the short-ribs are cooking, chop turnips, half a butternut squash, and the rest of the carrots and parsnips into bite-sized pieces and set aside in the refrigerator.

Remove the short ribs from the oven. Remove the short-ribs from the sauce and separate the meat from the bones, being careful not to tear the meat too much and discard the bones. Trim as much fat and connective tissue off as possible. Let the pot sit for 30 minutes to allow the beef oil and fat to rise. Skim AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE– it will be an orangish oil that rises to the top.

At this point, fry up your bacon until crispy and slightly burnt (or however you like haha). Dry on paper towels and chop into small pieces. Return short-ribs and bacon to dutch oven.

Boil the soup until the broth has reduced and become more sticky (10 – 15 minutes). This is also a good opportunity to skim fat as it accumulates to the center while it boils. Again, try and remove as much as possible. It’s pretty gross and fatty haha.

Meanwhile, take the rest of the chopped veggies and boil in salted water for 6 – 7 minutes, until very tender and dump them in iced water to stop cooking. Butternut squash and turnips should be in separate pots as they don’t take as long to cook. When finished, portion beef chunks into individual serving bowls and top with soft vegetables. Ladle some sauce and serve over mashed potatoes or celeriac puree.

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