Inspiration from French Bistros
Serve simple, quality dishes for dinner tonight by taking inspiration from French bistros. You can easily make this cuisine at home, relying on readily available ingredients and cooking methods that are not fussy. Using your grill, oven, or crockpot, you’ll be able to recreate the dishes available on bistro menus at home. While you’re picking up the ingredients necessary for the 7 recipes found here, be sure to grab a baguette or two, and if desired, a bottle of wine for a true home bistro experience.
Coq au Vin
If you needed any proof that bistro food can easily be made at home, look no further than Whole Foods’ recipe for coq au vin made in the crockpot. After quickly browning both the chicken and bacon, you’ll put everything in the crockpot where it will cook for 6 to 7 hours. It yields 4 to 6 servings.
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 (12-ounce) package white or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1½ cup red wine
- 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
Directions: Arrange chicken on a large sheet of waxed paper. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat chicken all over with flour and set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until golden and just crisp, 3 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Discard drippings and wipe out skillet. Melt 2 tablespoons butter (or heat oil, if using) in same skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large plate as done and set aside.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter or oil in same skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until edges begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, garlic, and salt and cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Transfer vegetables and broth to crock pot. Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle bacon over chicken. Add wine and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.
Recommended wine pairings: Because you’re cooking with red wine, one of the traditions of this dish is apparently to drink the rest of what you’re cooking with—great advice if you’ve got a great bottle. If not, try a medium-weight red such as a Pinot Noir from Oregon or California: We’re partial to a 2012 Ombré Pinot Noir, which has glossy fruit flavors.
Sautéed Chicken in Mustard-Cream Sauce
Serve Martha Stewart‘s sautéed chicken with a side of greens, like spinach or asparagus for a quick and simple dinner. Preparing the chicken will only take about 20 minutes, and it serves 4.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (6 ounces each)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup dry white wine, or chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)
Directions: Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.
Pour wine into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour any accumulated chicken juices from plate into sauce. Right before serving, drizzle cream sauce over chicken.