RCP Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

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RCP Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:26 pm

Well, seems like this is turning into an all-Mario weekend for us. Last night we had some friends over and served Pollo al Vin Cotto, fennel custard, and potatoes roasted in duck fat, all recipes found in Mario Batali's Molto Italiano. Tonight, it's fried cotechino with custard from the same book.

The Pollo al Vin Cotto was really fabulous. Everyone loved it, including my wife who is not much of a fan of chicken. It came out beautifully, even though I did not end up following the recipe too closely. Through inattention, I left out the blanched almonds and the olives and I never got the sauce reduced to a glaze, as stated in the recipe. I used currants instead of raisins. But really, the core of this dish lies in the chicken cooked in the vin cotto. Vin cotto is "cooked wine" (or mulled wine, if you prefer) that can be purchased if you want, but can easily be made at home. As Mario states in the intro to the recipe, it's "a great way to use up those less-than-acceptable wine gifts from your enologically challenged friends". It gives the chicken a sweet, spicy flavor that's irresistable.

I would recommend making more of this than you think you'll need. The flavor is such that people will not want to stop eating it.

Mario’s Pollo al Vin Cotto

Serves 4.

To make the vin cotto:

4 ½ c. red wine
½ c. honey
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves

Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves before using.

For the chicken:

¼ c. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
One 3-lb. chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, rinsed and patted dry
Salt
1 large onion cut into large dice
2 carrots, diced
½ c. green olives, such as Sicilian, pitted and chopped
3 T. raisins
1 T. capers, rinsed and drained
1 T. pine nuts, toasted
3 T. blanched almonds, toasted
1 c. red wine vinegar
½ c. sugar
fresh-ground black pepper
cracked black pepper
1 T. hot red pepper flakes
¼ c. finely chopped Italian parsley

In a 10-12 inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil until very hot but not smoking. Season the chicken with salt, add skin-side down to the pan, and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and carrots, and cook, stirring, until a deep golden-brown. Add the olives, raisin, capers, pine nuts, and almonds to the pan, stirring well. Add ½ c. of vin cotto to deglaze the pan, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom, then boil until reduced by half. Add the remaining ½ c. of vin cotto and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, the red pepper flakes, and the parsley, and serve.

Mike

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
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Re: RC: Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:19 pm

Nice recipe report, Mike. Any idea how long you can hold Vin Cotto. There's a low liklihood of having wine to make Vin Cotto and wanting to make chicken at the same time in our house.

I would guess from the description, it should be good for a couple of weeks in a cold refrigerator. What do you think?

Regards, Bob
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Re: RC: Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:16 pm

I can't imagine it wouldn't last a while in the fridge, Bob. I've seen it for sale in shops before, so I'd imagine that it would hold a long time if it went into a sterile jar.

I'm planning on making some up for general use, so I'm hoping it will stay good for a while.

Mike

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Re: RC: Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:56 pm

potatoes roasted in duck fat


Mmmmm *Homer drool* The chicken recipe sounds great too!
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Re: RC: Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

Postby Jenise » Mon May 01, 2006 1:48 pm

What an interesting dish, Mike, I don't believe I've ever seen anything quite like it--in particular from an Italian cook. How sweet is the final dish?
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Re: RC: Mario's Pollo al Vin Cotto

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon May 01, 2006 3:08 pm

Jenise wrote:What an interesting dish, Mike, I don't believe I've ever seen anything quite like it--in particular from an Italian cook. How sweet is the final dish?


It doesn't come off as being exceptionally sweet, although it is perceptibly so. I think it's along the lines of chicken cooked in sweet marsala, with the vinegar cutting the sweetness a bit.

Mike

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