Remember the song lyric “another year older and deeper in debt” from “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford? I can sort of relate. I’m another year older, but the debt part—I don’t know, it’s kinda hard to say since I still haven’t paid my accountant for last year’s audit.
One thing’s sure, though, the year’s end means it’s time to perform the ritual of listing New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been thinking about mine for a few weeks; not because my life is a complete downer like the song implies, but rather because of a hysterical article I recently read in some healthy-living rag. While lounging at Bold Bean sipping cappuccino (I’m so bourgeois), I was particularly entertained by a column on how not to spoil your pathetic, unhappy, unfulfilling Spartan lifestyle at holiday parties. My favorite bit of advice was to always eat a meal beforehand so you won’t be tempted to overeat and ruin your healthful routine.
My immediate thought, which made me snicker, was what if you exchanged booze for food? Yes, before going to holiday parties, it’s a good idea to have a few drinks! That way you won’t be tempted to drink at the party! Yeah, that’ll work—just arrive half-lit, no way you’ll want more! Great advice. I love healthy-living magazines.
My New Year’s resolutions begin with a vow to come clean with y’all on some of my weaknesses. Weakness No. 1: I have a memory like a colander. Weakness No. 2: I can’t think of another flaw (see weakness No. 1), unless you include my unquenchable affection for bacon fat.
My second resolution is to fulfill the promises I do remember making, and a while back I promised y’all a recipe for a chicken bog. This is a perfect dish for the chilly days ahead. Be cautious, though: Most chicken bogs are nothing more than a basic shoemaker stew begging to be Cheffed Up.
As I’m sure your New Year’s resolution is to Chef Up all your meals in 2018, begin with this, best served with Congaree and Penn’s middlins.
Chef Bill’s Chicken Bog
- 1 knob butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 whole chicken, the best available, cut 8 ways
- 1/2 pound Andouille, sliced in half-moons
- 2 medium leeks, thoroughly washed, sliced in half-moons
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 Serrano pepper, diced
- 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 cups pearl onions, blanched and peeled
- 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 oz. Madeira
- 3 oz. white wine
- 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, bay leaf)
- 24 oz. chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown in butter and olive oil over medium heat. Remove, lower heat slightly, add leeks.
- Sweat until soft and add garlic, ginger and Serrano. Continue to sweat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Deglaze with Madeira and reduce au sec. Add white wine and reduce by half.
- Add chicken broth, bouquet garni, mushrooms, tomatoes, pearl onions and chicken.
- Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Remove chicken and shred into medium-sized pieces. Return to broth and adjust the seasoning.
Until we cook again,
Contact Chef Bill, owner of The Amelia Island Culinary Academy, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find inspiration and get you Cheffed Up!