How might we infuse what we encounter.
Lightning bugs like candles through the trees. Wind in soft exhales before sleep. Cotton wafts, fresh linen on your skin.
A space where the unnecessary cooks into the air and onward, upward. Next.
Where the wine colors all that lies within its grasp. Purple. Sweet.
Steam swirls above the clink of a spoon through buttered potato velvet. Mauve shreds of chicken thigh. Orangeyellowpurple carrot dots; sea green celery crescents; thin, grey mushroom slivers. Slight green specks of parsley. Deep purple broth. A giant hunk of bread, to dip.
Everything in balance.
One Year: Cardamom, Blueberry, and Rosewater Layer Cake
Two Years: Toasted Coconut Blondies
Three Years: Cherry Ricotta Cake
Four Years: Prune, Pistachio, and Dark Chocolate Muffins
Five Years: Goat Cheese Toasts with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Truffle Honey
Relatively Effortless Coq au Vin Stew
Makes 6-8 Servings
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic (optional)
2 cups hearty red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices thick-cut bacon
3 large multicolored carrots (or 5-6 smaller), peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
To Serve: 1 lb fingerling potatoes, quartered and boiled in salted water*, high quality salted butter, crusty bread for dipping
CHICKEN: In a crock pot, combine chicken, onion, garlic, red wine, chicken stock, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, and desired amount of sea salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, then on high for an additional hour (Sorrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy). Remove the cooked chicken from the crock pot and use two forks to shred the chicken. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid and set aside.
VEGETABLES: Meanwhile, place a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, then set aside, reserving the bacon fat. In the same saucepan, cook the carrots in the bacon grease until tender with slight crunch, about 3 minutes. Add the celery stalks and mushrooms and cook an additional couple minutes before removing the vegetables from the heat. In the same saucepan, add the reserved cooking liquid. Turn the heat up to high and cover, letting it reduce for about 15 minutes. Add the chicken and the cooked vegetable mixture to the pot and sprinkle with parsley.
To Serve: Divide the boiled potatoes between bowls. Sprinkle with bacon crumbles, as well as additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired. Place some salted butter on top. Ladle the warm stew over the potatoes. Serve with slices of crusty bread, for dipping. MMMMMMMM.
*This can be done ahead of time. You can heat up the potatoes just before serving.