The weather in Minnesota is always unpredictable. It could be 90 degrees one day and snowing the next. Although it can be stressful and frustrating never knowing what the day will bring, there is something wonderful about the drastic change within seasons that makes me feel so at home and peaceful. I am constantly reminded that life, just like Minnesota weather, is unpredictable and uncontrollable. One has to roll with it and enjoy the ride.
This summer has been as surprising as ever. Instead of shorts and sun dresses, we find ourselves wearing sweatshirts and jeans. White Bear Lake is so dried up that the sandbars have become small islands. Sometimes I find myself thinking it is a fall evening in October rather than a hot summer day that should be spent in the sunshine and heat.
In the spirit of unseasonally cool weather, I made a meal for my family that was warming, comforting, and usually meant for cooler seasons (not the first week of August!)
Cat Cora’s Chicken stewed in cinnamon, garlic and wine is perfect for a night when you want to put something on the stove top and forget about it for a while to enjoy a glass of wine by the bonfire. Once all of the preparation is done, the chicken stews for a whole hour over low heat. The smell of cinnamon creeps through the house and proves yet again why slow cooking is such a special process.
If you are experiencing the same kind of strange weather, or need some ideas for the fast approaching fall season, this meal is something I would highly recommend. The chicken is juicy, full flavored with sweet and spicy cinnamon, savory garlic and tangy white wine.
Chicken Stewed in Cinnamon, Garlic and Wine (adapted from recipe by Cat Cora)
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves (3 chopped, 2 left whole)
4 cups chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups water
Pecorino Romano shavings (or other goats milk cheese)
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, salt and pepper. After patting the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, rub it with the cinnamon rub.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy, high sided pan or dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, brown the chicken, 3-4 minutes per side, place on a platter and set aside.
Bring the heat to medium-high and add the onions and chopped garlic to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes until tender and fragrant. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add the tomato paste and water and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
Serve the chicken in bowls, top with the cheese shavings and parsley. Use crusty bread to soak up the sauce.