This Is The Type Of Dish Kristen Kish Recommends For Holiday Cooking - Exclusive

Although there are a lot of reasons to love the holiday season, cooking may be the favorite among them. Holiday dishes add a rich sensory experience to seasonal festivities and serve to keep bellies full, fortified, and cozy during colder days and longer nights. But holiday cooking is about more than the feasts served on big days — it also includes the dinner parties and weeknight meals in the days or weeks before the main events. According to "Top Chef" host and classically trained chef Kristen Kish, there's a particular type of dish that we should be going for during this time.  

Recently, Tasting Table sat down for an exclusive interview with Kish. When we asked the head of Austin-based Arlo Grey what she prefers cooking around the holidays, Kish was clear about the styles of food she goes for this time of year: "Any braise, any soup, anything brothy, warming, like a savory tea," she said. "If it can remind me of a savory tea, that's the vibe that I like." 

If you're looking to pick your own go-to dish for holiday cooking, Kristen Kish even recommends some specific plates to try. "When I have a lot of time, any kind of beef stew or beef bourguignon," she said. "Coq au vin is beautiful, or it can be as simple as a braised chicken thigh."

Make your own version of one of Kish's winter favorites

Decadent, savory, and packed with hearty umami, coq au vin, or "chicken with wine," is already the perfect dish for the wintertime and fits Kristen Kish's classification as similar to a "savory tea." But as she noted, if you want to try your hand at making coq au vin or a similar dish, you'll need to have some time on your hands. Coq au vin involves chicken cooking down for long periods of time at low temperatures in a broth of bacon, mushrooms, and red wine. While it's not particularly labor-intensive, there are still a few things to keep in mind to make yours the best it can be. 

For example, because it's typically cooked for an hour or more, avoiding certain drier chicken cuts when making coq au vin, like breast meat, can help ensure your dish stays tender and flavorful. You should also be mindful of the variety of mushrooms you use. Standard button mushrooms don't tend to have much flavor when cooked over long periods — ideally, you'll want fungi with fuller profiles. Porcini mushrooms have an earthy, nutty flavor that releases deep umami into the brothy mixture when simmered for a long period; in a pinch, cremini mushrooms will also add more flavor than buttons. In the end, you'll have a super savory broth that's cozy and warming, just like Kish recommends for your holiday table.