Homegrown Ontario Braised Chicken Thighs

In this simplified version of coq au vin, Ontario chicken slowly simmers with mushrooms in a red wine sauce that infuses its flavours until the meat falls off the bone. Serve with a side salad or over rice.

8 skinless Homegrown Ontario chicken thighs (or 4 boneless, skinless breasts)
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) button mushrooms
1 cup (250 mL) sliced onions
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cracked black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley

If using breasts, cut crosswise in half. In shallow Dutch oven or heavy skillet, heat butter over medium high heat; brown chicken, in batches, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Add mushrooms and half of the onions to pan; fry over medium-high heat until mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Add remaining onions, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf to pan, cook until onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook one minute. Add wine and broth and bring to boil over medium-high heat, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return chicken and any accumulated juices back to the pan. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer; cover and cook for 20 minutes. Return mushroom onion mixture back to pan, continue to cook, covered, until sauce thickens slightly and chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

*Note: If you do not have dry red wine, cider vinegar can be used as a substitute. If cooking in a slow cooker, adjust setting to medium heat and simmer for six hours.

Suggested wine pairing: Henry of Pelham Merlot Reserve 2006 Courtesy of Wines of Ontario & Mark Moffat Sommelier, Dine N Vines

Per serving: about 300 cal, 26 g pro, 12 g total fat (4 g sat fat), 9 g carb, 1 g fibre, 95 mg chol, 540 mg sodium. %RDI: iron 10%, calcium 4%, vit A 10%, vit C 10%

Source: Homegrown Ontario