Braised Chicken Recipe

On cold days, try our take on coq au vin

Oh, negative wind-chill temperatures. You make us feel so...negative.

The cure for this uncommon cold: long underwear, bad TV and a big pot of something long-simmering, rich and steadying. We like chicken with wine and whatever complementary odds and ends we can find around the kitchen.

A braised chicken has much to recommend it right now. For one, it's easy. It spares you the brining and marinating that can make roasting a chore. It fills the house with delicious smells. A warm sauce that materializes, somewhat miraculously, from that paltry braising liquid. 

The makings of our braised chicken: thyme, preserved lemons, green olives and garlic

And a braise is forgiving: Unlike roast chicken, you can't dry out the meat, even if you run it under the broiler to crisp up or reheat it the next day for lunch. And what nice leftovers this makes.

This week we're into chicken with white wine, basically a white coq au vin with green olives adding their briny notes in place of bacon (see the recipe). But the beauty of this dish is its endless mutability. Out of chicken broth? Italianize it with canned tomatoes, anchovies and capers. Drank all the wine? Pour in a few glugs of Calvados or even beer.

Curled up on the couch with dinner, we think of our poor friends in California and sunnier places, missing out on all the fun.