Monday, August 18, 2008

Poulet Mijote a la Moutarde - Chicken Stew with Mustard

The French name just sounds so much more interesting, doesn't it? This is a simple and delicious dish and served over rice, it's a fabulous and feasible midweek meal.

adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier's "Chocolate and Zucchini"

1 whole head garlic
extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
one 3-31/2 lb. whole free-range chicken cut into 8 pieces thawed if frozen
4 medium red onions
one 28 to 32 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
a good pinch of ground chili powder
1/3 c dry white wine
3 Tbs dijon mustard with whole mustard seeds (I used Meaux mustard).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Peel the outer layers of skin from the head of garlic until you reach the individual cloves. Slice off the top of the head so the flesh of each clove is exposed. Put the head of garlic on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and close the foil into a pouch. bake for 45 minutes, until the flesh of each clove is light brown and very soft when tested with teh tip of a knife.
Once you've slipped the garlic into the oven, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or dutsaston with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden.
while the chicken is browning peel and quarter the onions. Set aside on a plate and pour out the excess chicken fat. Put the onions in teh pot and cook for 5 minutes, until softened stirring regularly.
Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and ground chile powder, and arrange the chicken over the vegetables. Pour in the wind and bring to a simmer. cover and cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes stirring from time to time.
Remove the garlic from the oven, open the pouch and let cool. Squeeze the garlic out of each clove into a small bowl and mash with a fork to form a paste. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
When the chicken is cooked, spoon the mustard in the pot and stir to blend into teh sauce. turn the heat up to medium high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Cover and keep over low heat until ready to serve. Serve over rice or pasta.

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