chicken breasts au vin

Chicken Breasts Au Vin From Betty's Cook Nook

This recipe is dedicated to the Bauml Family. 

You were more than just neighbors… you’re like family in many, many ways! 

~   ❤   ~

“Au vin” is French for “with wine”

Chicken with wine? What can be better?!? Chicken with more wine! Oui! Oui!

Growing up I was a huge animal fan. I still am! I raised more than my fair share of pets – two toy poodles, fish, zebra finches, a cockatiel named “Sam,” and I raised quail from eggs with the help of an incubator and lots of patience. My passion was more like an obsession and Mom and Dad seemed not to notice as I begged them to let me also have a bantam chicken. This was a critical link in my transformation into a bona fide farmer! :)

A Buff Cochin ChickenWith 30+ quail living in our back yard I really didn’t need a chicken but our family’s friend Mr. Bauml had some chickens with feathers on the legs and toes that I thought were really cool and before anyone knew it, a butterscotch-colored chicken was living in our backyard pen.

Make no mistake – the quail and the chicken were not to be eaten – they were my pets and were to be admired with the eyes and the heart. They could also be hugged or high-fived, if desired.

Chicken is the hero of this meal and partnered with its sidekicks wine and brandy, I hope you’ll find the end result a tasty twist on your typical poultry dish.

foodie tips ~

 For small white onions I suppose you can use pearl onions as the recipe doesn’t say to chop them. I didn’t have any pearls on hand so I used chopped white onions.

 Setting brandy on fire is fun! For another one of Mom’s recipes that will impress your guests, try Betty’s brandied pumpkin flan recipe. It’s always a hit at the holidays!

i. ingredients

| chicken breasts, boned and split
¼ cup | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon (I used more) | fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup | butter (my grandmother insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
¼ cup | brandy
2 cups | dry red wine
½ pound (2 cups) | small white onions, peeled
¼ cup | parsley, chopped
| bay leaf, crumbled (I left mine whole for easy removal)
1 clove | garlic, crushed (or pressed)
½ pound | fresh mushrooms

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Dust the chicken breasts in a mixture of the flour, salt, and pepper. In a skillet, sauté the breasts in the butter.

2. Warm the brandy and set a match to it – no worries, it will be unlikely that you will cause a culinary explosion! Pour the flaming brandy over the skillet chicken. Shake the skillet until the flame dies away.

3. Transfer the chicken and the pan juices to a casserole dish. Add the wine, onions, parsley, bay leaf, and the garlic clove. Cover tightly with foil then with the lid. Cook for 30 minutes.

4. Add the mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this dish au vin! I partnered mine with some creamy four cheese Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat!

Serves 6 – 8 humans

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

 

Chicken Breasts Au Vin Recipe

A scan of Mom’s original recipe

 


black forest squares

Black Forest Squares Recipe

Just like bad hair days, not every single food photo I take turns out amazing. This is one of them! But I promise you this tasted oh, so good!

Into The Forest We Go

When the word “forest” comes to mind, I often think about the first forest I ever visited – the San Isabel National Forest in Colorado.

Time warp 1980. It was the year of my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary and in the San Antonio Express News Mom read about a small, charming getaway in south central Colorado called Cuchara (Spanish for “spoon”). The article tugged at her heart and a family trip to Cuchara was going to happen! Since the only vacations I had been on were to the Texas Coast and one trip to Nuevo Laredo where I spent more time in the hotel sick than out and about, I knew we were in for a big treat – even bigger than when the Brady Bunch went camping.

Our Kiker family of five piled into two cars and with our CB radios at the ready we made the 12+ hour drive from San Antonio to Cuchara. Just inside the Colorado state line I remember my first few moments outside of the car – the air smelled so foreign … and fresh! It was like Mother Nature had sprayed air freshener and beauty in all directions!

Resting at an altitude of 8,468 feet, Cuchara had no stop lights and a year-round population about 100 strong. So this was a place you came to unwind. Fishing, horseback riding, hiking, sitting and staring this way and that (literally) – all the things we didn’t do in our usual city life. Mom and Dad rented a cabin at Yellow Pine Ranch – a working dude ranch with everything you’d expect and more. Here along the Cuchara River there was a pond, horses and even a donkey named “Cucklebur.”

San Isabel National Forest

Into The Forest We Go!

The National Forest was expansive and we had fun enjoying the views from our 1970s Toyota Land Cruiser. Mountains, pine trees and quaking aspens were abound and my Dad later referred to this land as “God’s Country.” It came as no surprise that in November of the same year Mom and Dad were back in Cuchara scouting for land to purchase so they could build a cabin in the woods – a joint venture with their friends Margie and Herb from Waco.

That is the kind of effect the beauty of a forest can create! Now let’s make black forest squares!

foodie tips ~

 As my kitchen smarts continue to deepen, I’m reminded that all pans are not alike! Glass and metal pans cook differently and you might find that if you’re cake is a little burned around the edges, you might switch to metal bakeware. Here’s why.

 In the 1970s while whip cream often came from the can, these days I use my gourmet whipper which creates a super fresh whip. When you make your own whipped topping you can flavor the creams but for this recipe we chose to go with the standard recipe.

i. ingredients

1 package | chocolate cake mix
8 ounces | sour cream
1 package (4-serving size) | instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup | milk
¼ cup | crème de cassis … or brandy (I had brandy on hand)
16 ounce can | pitted dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons | sugar
1 tablespoon | cornstarch
to serve | fresh whipping cream
¼ cup | sliced almonds, toasted

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Turn batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out of the middle clean. Cool completely in pan.

2. In a large mixer bowl beat together the sour cream, dry pudding mix, ⅓ cup of the milk and the crème de cassis or brandy until the mixture is fluffy. Gradually add the remaining milk, beating until smooth. Pour mixture over the cooled cake and chill.

Black Forest Squares by Betty's Cook Nook

3. Meanwhile, drain the cherries, reserving ¾ cups of the syrup. In a sauce pan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the reserved syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Add the drained cherries, remove from heat and cool.

4. Spread the cool cherry mixture on top of the chilled pudding layer. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

5. To serve – whip fresh cream to soft peaks. Pipe over cherry mixture in a lattice design. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Yields about 12 squares, depending on size

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Black Forest Squares Recipe

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe. Ironically it was from a 1980 Betty Homes and Gardens Magazine – the same year we took our awesome trip to Colorado (mentioned above).

From The Cuchara Mountaintop

Over the river and through the wood … we find ourselves above the tree line atop Colorado.


brandied pumpkin flan

Pumpkin Flan On Fire

This recipe is dedicated to my foster family in Italy ~ the hospitality
they shared was bigger than Texas! 
I’ll never forget us uniting over this dish
during “Tex Mex Night” in Tuscany. 

~      ~

a flan on fire? 

You betcha! This is one of the most amazing recipes that made my mom look more magician than chef.

This flan was typically served at Thanksgiving and as the lights dimmed and mom lit the flan, widening eyes were aglow.

I was on holiday in Italy when I made this recipe for the first time; it was something that we had for dessert for “Tex Mex Night.”

i. ingredients

¾ cup | sugar
1 cup | canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup | milk
1 cup | light cream
6 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | vanilla extract
⅓ cup | brandy
boiling water
2 tablespoons | brandy (more brandy!)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a 8-1/4″ round, shallow baking dish into the oven.

1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook ¾ cup sugar until it melts and forms a light-brown syrup. Stir to blend and do not overcook!

2. Immediately pour syrup into the warmed baking dish. Holding the dish with pot holders, quickly rotate it back and forth, to cover bottom and side completely. Set aside.

Pouring the pumpkin flan into the prepared dish3. To make the pumpkin custard: In a medium saucepan, combine pumpkin, milk and cream, stirring until well blended. Heat over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

4.  In a large bowl with a rotary beater, add eggs and beat them slightly. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir in the hot pumpkin-milk mixture and ⅓ cup brandy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

5. Set the baking dish into a shallow aluminum pan. Pour boiling water to a ½-inch level around the dish. Put the dish/pan into the preheated oven.

Pumpkin Flan Hot Out Of The Oven

6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean. Remove the custard from the oven, let cool and refrigerate overnight.

7. To serve, run a small spatula around the edge of the dish to loosen the flan. Invert the dish onto a shallow serving dish and shake gently to release. The caramel acts as a tasty sauce. Lower the lights in the room, gather your foodies, and at the table ignite 2 tablespoons of warm brandy and quickly pour it over the flan. You can whisper some magic chant or a funny limerick for full effect. Your foodies will admire you! Or at least fear you. :)

Serves: 8

foodie tips ~

  In step 4 above, make sure and slowly add the hot pumpkin-milk mixture into the egg mixture to prevent cooking of the eggs! This step works great with two people; a “stirrer” and a “pourer.”
  Stumped with your limerick? Try making your own with a little help from the limerick factory!

the original brandied pumpkin flan recipe


orange brandied yams

Pouring the brandy mixture on top of the yams. Makes for a great presentation!With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’m on the hunt for foods that are ripe for sharing.

Brandied yams? Bring them on! Stay tuned for pics of this delicious dish that’s good as a side… or a delicious dessert!

I’m made this recipe and other favorites in honor of “my first” Thanksgiving here at Betty’s Cook Nook!

i. ingredients

2-1 lb. 2 oz. cans | yams
1/3 cup | butter
1 cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup | orange  juice
1/2 teaspoon | salt
1/2 cup | slivered and toasted almonds
1/3 cup | brandy

ii. what to do

1. Halve the yam-potatoes and place in a serving dish.

2. Place the almonds in a pan over medium heat and toast until lightly browned. Do not burn! Set aside.

toasting-up the almonds for the yams3. Melt the butter and add the sugar, juice and salt.

4. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves; boil gently 5 minutes.

5. Pour the sugary mixture over the yams and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

6. Heat the brandy gently in a small pan and light with a match. Pour the brandy mixture over the yam tops (pic shown above).

Raise your arms in the air… you’re a fire starter!

Foodie Tips ~

  When I opened the canned yams, I promptly thought they were “small” enough to eat sized from the can. Listen-up to the instructions and cut them in 1/2 anyway.

  I prefer my yams warm and this is pretty much a room-temperature recipe. Next time I make these, I’m going to cook the yams in their canned juice on stove top in for a few minutes to warm them up. Then drain the juice. Then I’ll transfer the “yammers” to a serving bowl as the brandy mix is ready and light ’em up.

  Over the Thanksgiving table, we got into a heated debate over whether or not yams and sweet potatoes were one in the same. Fact is, they are not.