Cooking in the Cove: Merry Christmas from The Cove

Coq au Vin is the perfect meal for a relaxing weekend. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

A few years ago, I made Coq au Vin, a delicious festive dish on Christmas Eve. I decided to make it again even though I remembered that it was very labor intensive. In this tour, I’ve gone step by step, completing all of the slicing and dicing ahead of time. I combined a huge package of chicken thighs, homemade broth that was ready in the fridge and a bottle of Shiraz stashed in the pantry.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in Condé Harbor Village. You can access it at [email protected]

I was rewarded with a rich and delicious soup that I served with garlic mashed potatoes with roasted broccoli on the side. It was definitely a delicious meal special enough for your holiday dinner and can be prepared in advance for reheating later after the flavors meld together in the fridge.

This gingerbread cookie is a delicious dessert that can be served a little warm with orange icing or with a cloud of whipped cream. It’s a great way to introduce stale bread into your winter holiday traditions.

Cook or Vin

4 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces bacon, diced
3-4 pounds of bone-in beef nuggets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy or Shiraz
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons thyme
4 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature
3 tablespoons flour
1 pound frozen whole small onions
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stemless, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the chicken with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add bacon and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a perforated spoon. Get rid of all but two tablespoons of the broth.

Roast the chicken on both sides, in batches, in a single layer, for 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the dish with the bacon and set aside.

Add the carrots, diced onion, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly brown. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collect on the plate in the saucepan. Add wine, chicken broth, and thyme and bring to a simmer.

Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the pot from the oven and place it on the stove.

Mash 2 tablespoons of butter and flour together well, then stir into the saucepan. Add frozen onions.

In a medium skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until they turn brown. Add it to the pot. Leave on low heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Yield: 6-8 servings


1/4 cup dark rum or water
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup butter
1 cup black honey
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup dried crystallized ginger, minced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 8″ x 8″ cake pan.

Put the rum or water and raisins in a small saucepan. Cover and heat until the liquid boils. Turn off the heat source and walk away.

Put the butter and molasses in another small skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then mix the sour cream and orange peel.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a small bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry mixture to molasses mixture and blend until smooth. Drain the raisins and add them with the crystallized ginger to the mixture with a spoon. Pour into skillet and bake for 35 minutes, until a clean toothpick comes out. Set aside to cool.

This can be inverted onto a cake plate and covered with icing or left in the pan to serve a square at a time.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

Whisk sugar and orange juice together and pour over cooled gingerbread. Leave the glaze to set. Yield: 9 servings

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