Finding Comfort

For me, October is about fall, and at the first cool snap I always crave some decadent comfort food. This dish may not fit into my generally healthy guidelines, but every now and then it’s good to indulge.
I was in a bit of a hurry on the night of this small gathering of friends and took a small shortcut that saved oodles of time—I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken. In theory, I don’t like shortcuts in cooking, but I don’t think using a store-bought rotisserie chicken really altered the taste of this earthy recipe. Served with polenta, it is a hearty dish that all ages can enjoy.


RECIPE: Kentucky chicken with polenta

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I used both the light
 and dark meat.)
4 shallots, sliced
2 to 3 tblsp. olive oil
1 carton baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin
4 oz dried crimini mushrooms (available at Whole Foods)
 reconstituted with water
2 to 3 tblsp. flour
1/2 cup bourbon
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
1 tblsp. fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt

Sauté shallots in oil on medium heat until soft, add mushrooms and cover to soften for about two minutes. Stir in flour until paste forms and it begins to brown a bit. Raise heat to high and deglaze pan with bourbon. Allow this mixture to cook down for about a minute. Slowly add in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add chicken. Stir in half and half and the herbs and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Add salt and stir.

Serve with stoned ground polenta, white or brown
rice, pasta or even toast. It’s all creamy and delicious! Serves 4 to 6.
WINES TO SAVOR
a wine good time
Bryan Burkey, the director of Wine Institute New Orleans, suggested wines that go well with Kentucky chicken, as well as wines for the fall.
 
when paired with kentucky chicken:
Robert Klingenfus, Alsace, France, 2005 Pinot Noir Morgan, Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, 2005 Chardonnay Delas, Saint-Esprit, Côtes-du-Rhone, France 2004 Blend of Grenache and Syrah

fall wines:

Château La Nerthe, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, 2003 Umberto Cesari, Sangiovese di Romagna Reserva, Italy, 2004 Five Vintners, Napa Valley, California, Syrah, 2002