Coq Au Madhu

The Cloudborne“Does it not make one feel guilty, to drink sweet madhu while the sun shines in the sky?  No, no, bhadra.  It is nirvana!”

—FFXII

This recipe calls for two shots of madhu, or gin, in the marinade.  Buy a good-quality gin like Bombay Sapphire and use the rest for gin-and-tonics; it’s what they drink at Ondore’s manor on those hot Bhujerba nights.

Marinade:

  • 6 tbsp. madhu, or gin
  • 2 cups sweet red vermouth (e.g. Cinzano Rosso or Martini Rosso)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large orange, washed, unpeeled, and cut into thick slices
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 1 tbsp. peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

Stew:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz. package of crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • Cooked basmati rice, or other whole grain

Mix the marinade ingredients together, add the chicken breasts, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.  Remove chicken and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Do not discard marinade.

For the stew, heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly.  Add carrots and cook, uncovered, until softened, about 15 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Add chicken and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour, being careful not to let it burn, about 5 minutes.  Strain in the leftover marinade.  Scrape up the flour and stir well.  Add broth, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 1½ to 2 hours.

Remove from heat, stir in spinach, and let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes, until spinach is wilted.  Serve over rice.  Makes 8 servings.

Per heaping 1-cup serving (not including rice): 270 calories, 15.9 g. fat, 3.9 g. saturated fat, 1.7 g. poly. fat, 8.9 g. mono. fat, 56 mg. cholesterol, 574.1 mg. sodium, 537.7 mg. potassium, 11.7 g. carbohydrates, 2.1 g. fiber, 20.4 g. protein, vitamin A 57%, vitamin C 13%, calcium 6%, iron 10%

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