Monday, June 15, 2020

Food--My Guilty Pleasure

Shadow Hill, my latest Geneva Chase Mystery, is in the hands of my copy editor at Poisoned Pen Press.

No sooner had I hit the Send button, that same copy editor sent me a version of my very first Geneva Chase novel, Random Road.  Before Shadow Hill is launched in 2021, Random Road is due to be rereleased and I need to read through it to see if I want to make any changes.

At the same time, I’m preparing for my next Creative Writing course that starts on June 22 at our community college. And oh yes, I have a day job, mostly working from home these days.

Along with all of that, I’m bombarded by news of the pandemic, the protests about racial disparities, the broken economy, and politics making it very difficult to concentrate.

So, as a distraction, I turn to food. The supply chain at our grocery stores here on the coast has fits and starts.  Like the rest of the universe, for a long time, you had to hunt for elusive paper products. Then when meatpacking plants were hit hard with the virus, I had to be creative when it came to preparing dinners.

There were times when the only protein in the meat section of the store was ground chicken.  Lo and behold, I discovered this recipe.

I’ve made chicken coq au vin before and it can be a real production.  But the recipe below it a whole lot easier and it’s really tasty.

I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Coq au vin chicken meatballs.

•         1 1/4 pounds ground turkey or chicken
•         1 egg
•         1/3 cup bread crumbs
•         1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
•         kosher salt and black pepper
•         2-3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
•         1 yellow onion, chopped
•         4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
•         4 carrots, chopped
•         2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
•         2 tablespoons tomato paste
•         1 1/2 cups dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
•         1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
•         2 bay leaves
•         4 thyme sprigs
•         1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
•         mashed potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Add the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a bowl. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs), placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp and cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. In the skillet, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Stir in the garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are caramelizing on the edges. Add the tomato paste. Cook 1 minute.

4. Add in the red wine, chicken broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, bring the sauce to a boil, cook 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the meatballs, cover and cook 5 minutes, until the meatballs are coated in the sauce. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and discard. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon.

4. Serve the meatballs and sauce over mashed potatoes.


Anna said...

I can taste this already. The recipe is all printed out and waiting to be followed. Thanks!

Donis Casey said...

Food! My love, my siren call to plumpness. And thanks for feeding my addiction so deliciously, Tom.

Rick Blechta said...

I think food during the pandemic is many people's guilty pleasure.

And this is a worthy-looking recipe to try out at the earliest convenience. Thanks for sharing it, Tom!

One question, though, before I head for the supermarket: the ingredients list '1 cup sodium chicken broth'. I'm assuming you mean 'low-sodium chicken broth', yes?

Thomas Kies said...


My bad...yes, low sodium. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.


Rick Blechta said...