Dog Day Halloween and a Recipe for Easy Coq au Vin-like Chicken Stew


In this column, Katherine Knowles divulges recipes you can make in your tiny New York City kitchen. Check out more of her recipes in our archives.

“Not winning is not an option,” said Dan at brunch way back in the summer, as he opened the brainstorming session to determine Beta’s outfit in the Halloween Dog Parade.

“Off-the-shelf costumes aren’t going to cut it,” I noted, thinking back to past years’ AT-AT Walker and Mutt Romney, and the homemade Hot Dog.

“Creative parameters here,” warned Dan. “I can’t sew and I’m not at all crafty, so I’m thinking something that requires zero actual skill.”

“That pretty much just leaves punning,” said Jon, who’s taken a few years to get into the swing of the creative, ingenious, and joyful festival of strange. (“It’s the contrast between the dressed-up dogs and the homeless dogs watching them from the other side of the railings,” he says. “It’s pretty much how I imagine Rome would have been right before the fall.”)

Dan nodded, all focus: “Maybe we drape him in a copy of the Wall Street Journal and call him NASDOG.”

The weekend looms. Tensions run high. Victory hangs in the balance. And so, to dinner: comforting, warming, soothing. The perfect antidote to canine-related drama, however the winning shakes out. Because really they’re all winners, aren’t they? (“No” — Dan.)

Comforting Chicken Stew (a low-effort version of coq au vin)

One onion
Package of mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
Bacon, cut into lardons
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup frozen pearl onions
Red wine
4 large chicken breasts
2 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

Dice an onion and a packet of mushrooms, mince 2 cloves of garlic. Add to a Le Creuset-style pot with a handful of lardons. Season well, then cook gently until the onion softens. Add a squeeze of tomato paste if you have some, a handful of frozen pearl onions, half to two-thirds of a bottle of good red wine, 4 large chicken breasts (or 6 … or equivalent thigh-portions), and tuck in a couple of bay leaves and a sprig of thyme. Pop in a 275°F oven for about 45 minutes. Thicken the sauce if you like, by mixing 1 tsp of cornstarch into 1 tbsp of cold water. Stir until it looks like smooth milk. Add to the stew, and let it bubble to thicken. If you want the sauce even thicker, repeat. Serves 4, assuming 1 piece of chicken per person and some extras.



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