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Valentine’s Day recipe you must try

Hey guys! Heather from Surprise Box here and I am going to share with you one of my absolute favorite Valentine’s Day recipes that you must try!

I really love cooking.

I didn’t begin my cooking journey until I was in college and not on the meal plan. In desperation to not eat out every single night, I began scouring the internet for easy recipes to try. My introduction to cooking began with the crockpot. My mom had gifted me a crockpot when I went away to college and I probably said “thanks mom,” threw it in the trunk and then it landed somewhere in the top of my closet for months to come collecting dust. But, I am here to say that the crockpot saved my life. Well not really SAVED my life but close. It taught me so much about recipe building, cooking times, flavor profiles and more. Not only was I saving money as a poor starving college kid, but bonus, I wasn’t starving anymore. I was meal planning for the week! Making myself 1 crockpot meal each week, freezing some and rotating other frozen meals in and out for variation kept me happy, full and busy. I was on a roll!

So how does that bring me to my favorite Valentine’s Day recipe?

Well, let me let you in on a little secret. Anything slow cooked is going to taste like a million bucks. This recipe I am going to share with you is on that I found on Pinterest a few years back and I have probably made it fifty times already. It’s that good! It calls for cooking in a dutch over (which is basically like a glorified crockpot, but you can adapt it to your crockpot as well!

This recipe is savory, creamy, hearty, filling and just tastes like love.

So, here we go. Meet Coq a vin blanc. Yes, blanc! It’s made with white wine (a whole bottle of the glorious stuff)! This recipe is from Taste Love and Nourish as well as some of her glorious inspo photos. You’re gonna love it!

Coq a Vin Blanc

image by Taste Love and Nourish
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 ounces pancetta, finely diced (or turkey bacon like I like to use)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds), cut into pieces
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces white button mushrooms (or your favorite variety), sliced
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled (see Notes) (or 1 large onion chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 to 6 sprigs fresh parsley
 DIRECTIONS
  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the pancetta bits until golden and a bit crisp. Remove them, using a slotted spoon and set them aside on a small dish.
  2. Add a bit of olive oil to the pot. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown them on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, in small batches. Put the pieces aside in a large dish as you work.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (or your crockpot to low)
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pot, continuing on medium high heat. If you need to, add just a smidgen of oil. Brown the mushrooms until they are a deep golden brown. This will give your dish great flavor. They will release some water during the process, but keep them going and do not add any salt at this stage. They’ll begin to dry up and get brown and delicious. Once they are, add the shallot, pearl onions, celery and carrot. Continue cooking until the shallots soften. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute. Add the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables.
  5. Pour in the bottle of wine. Bring the wine to a light simmer and add the chicken broth, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and about 4 sprigs of the parsley along with the pancetta and chicken.
  6. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 1½ to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender. (Or transfer to a crockpot and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining leaves of parsley over the top and serve with mashed or smashed potatoes or creamy polenta.

NOTES

Fresh pearl onions are very time consuming to peel yourself, so feel free to use the frozen ones. Just make sure to thaw them before using. In a pinch I just cut up one large whole onion as a replacement.

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