After a rather toasty Indian summer, it’s finally feeling like autumn in Northern Virginia. This means I want to make soups and stews and have homemade cinnamon potpourri simmering on the stove 24/7. And drink hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. If only we had the fireplace for the roaring fire. A fireplace is on the list of must-haves for our NEXT home.
I partnered with ALDI this month, and visited my recently-remodeled local store (find yours here!) to stock up on some affordable fall essentials. The store was so organized, and I simply loved the fun, bright signage throughout the store. It made finding everything I needed a breeze; I picked up squash, carving pumpkins, and lots of pantry items; now I really can’t wait to make all the autumnal things, especially my favorite spice cake!
We’re unintentional, quasi-vegetarians over here, mainly because I grew up eating less meat and more beans, grains, and vegetables. My go-to meats are ground beef and chicken breast. That’s what my mom cooked when we ate meat, and they’re safely nestled in my Cooking Comfort Zone. For some time, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a recipe for Coq Au Vin, the French dish of chicken pieces cooked in red wine. We ate this dish for dinner this week and Joe, my flavor-loving husband, was thoroughly impressed and gave it his stamp of approval. I served it over boiled new potatoes, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and parsley. There was [finally] a chill in the air this week and it officially felt like fall (I’m wearing a wool sweater as I type this), so this cozy dish was most welcome. I’m excited for making all the comfort foods this season.
I love the affordable selection of wine available at ALDI, and decided to use their Broken Clouds Pinot Noir in the Coq Au Vin. This Pinot Noir won the 2017 Product of the Year and has been given 91 points by Wine Enthusiast. In addition, it was ranked in the Top 100 Best Buy Wines for 2016 at number 22! I’ve been really happy with every bottle of wine I’ve tried from ALDI, and they offer a great selection. We enjoyed glasses of the Pinot Noir with our meal (including Joe, who doesn’t typically favor red wine; he loved it). The Broken Clouds Pinot Noir was the perfect, slightly fruity dry red wine for this dish and it paired well with the mushrooms and thyme featured in the Coq Au Vin. Here’s my take on this traditional French dish.
Coq Au Vin with Carrots and Celery
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: about 55 minutes
8 oz Appleton Farms Applewood Smoked Bacon
3-4 lbs Certified Organic Red Wheelbarrow Chicken Breasts
salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced
15 baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
4 celery stalks, sliced diagonally in 1″ pieces
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 cups Broken Clouds Pinot Noir
2 tbsp Happy Harvest Tomato Paste
4 cups Simply Nature Organic Chicken Broth
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs Edible Garden fresh rosemary
10 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp Countryside Creamery Butter, divided
2 tbsp Baker’s Corner Flour
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced in half or quarters
14 oz. pearl onions
5 sprigs Edible Garden fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bacon into 1″ x 1/4″ pieces. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until rendered. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and put aside.
Salt and pepper both sides of chicken, then brown in batches in the Dutch oven, using the bacon grease. Brown for about 5 min per side. Transfer to plate when done and put aside.
Sauté onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in Dutch oven. Cook until onion is translucent. Then add bacon and toss.
Add 1 cup of wine and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add remaining wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 10-15 minutes.
Using kitchen twine, make two bundles of rosemary and thyme. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and bundled rosemary and thyme. Add chicken, then bring to boil. Cover Dutch oven, then braise in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through (to 165 degrees), about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven, whisk 2 tbsp each of flour and melted butter together, then add to stew. Add frozen onions.
Sauté mushrooms on medium-high heat in 1 tbsp butter until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms to stew, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley. Serve piping hot, over boiled new potatoes if you like. Enjoy!
Sponsor Note: Although this post was sponsored by ALDI, all content, words, and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the partnerships that help keep this blog running.
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