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Poulet du Collins

Low and slow, that’s my secret. Gourmet is always best. I hate Bad Food.

When I cook, I need the ability to walk away and focus on something else. Writing, or practicing, or recording, all super important. Lack of time is a huge consideration. Life and creativity are pushing and pulling; the more time I have for priorities, the better.

The fewer steps the better. Minimum ingredients, minimum effort, maximum return. It’s always about the ingredients. The higher the quality, the better the flavor. Mouth watering goodness is key.

The Recipe

I do not believe in recipes. A list of ingredients, yes, recipes, no.

Make sure you have a thermometer.

Start with a pan of some sort which has a lid that will completely cover it. Soup pan, frying pan, braising pan, it doesn’t matter. I use a Cuisinart stainless steel roasting pan. More on that in a later blog.

Bone-in split chicken breasts. Why bone-in? There is more flavor when attached to the bone, as well as retention of moisture. We want our chicken tender, yes?

Olive oil, onions, garlic, salt or a seasoning of your choice. Herbs – dried, fresh, vacuum sealed, who cares, it’s all good. Some chicken stock would be nice. Sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. That’s it.

Ingredients In The pan, Ready to Cook

Coat the bottom of your pan with Olive Oil. Turn the heat up high and sear your chicken breasts skin side down for about 30 to 45 seconds. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add your garlic and chop that onion any way you want. There is no such thing as too much garlic or olive oil.

Turn the stove up to high and saute till you brown your onions, then turn the heat to low. Throw in a little chicken stock in the bottom of the pan to make sure no area is lacking liquid.

Take your chicken, season as you see fit and place in the pan. Place your herbs, sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts over the chicken, cover the pan and walk away.

The idea is not fry or saute the chicken. The idea is to let it slowly cook and let the ingredients permeate one another. Low heat, low heat, low heat. I can’t emphasize it more.

After 35 minutes, about the time of a decent vocal warm up, grab your thermometer and check your chicken. By now your temperature should be about 115 to 125 degrees, depending on how many breasts you are preparing. When the chicken reaches 165 degrees, turn off the heat and uncover the pan. At this time it is super critical to stop cooking. We want to retain the moisture.

Dried chicken. Bad!!!!!

Get it on the plate ASAP, best served hot.

Dinner time!

When serving, make sure all that extra jus in the pan goes over the chicken. Make sure the artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes are on top as well.

Pick any sides you want. I keep my freezer stocked with all kinds of frozen veggies. Nuke em’, or heat ’em, any way you want, or what you have time for.

If you are looking for some Mac and Cheese to go accompany it, for that extra touch, I suggest Beecher’s.

Trying to impress someone? Crumbled Chevre over the chicken is a nice touch.

Dare I say Vino?

Delicious, inexpensive wine suggestions –

St. Michelle Dry Riesling. This wine is beautiful, in that it pairs with pork, chicken, seafood, salads…all sorts of food. I like it because it is inexpensive. Serve it chilled, or not. I drink all my whites at room temperature. Champagne, or Sparkling Wines, those are definitely served ice cold cold. The thing about drinking whites at room temperature – you will know pretty quickly if the wine is flawed. Chilling can mask imperfections. 8 to 9 bucks.

Cote Du Rhone, Famille Perrin. Most Cote Du Rhones from Southern Rhone are Grenache based wines. This one has a bit of Syrah blended in. Grenache thrives in Spain and France and the wine can be simple or complex depending the wine maker’s intent. This wine is light enough to not over power the chicken and complex enough to accent the artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes. I love wines from the Rhone, both north and south, one of my favorite regions. 10 to 13 bucks.

Those who know me understand what a pretentious wine snob I am.

With that being said, there only two wines out there – The ones you will drink and the ones you won’t. It’s like music – the stuff you will listen to and the stuff you won’t.

Music, Food and wine

What do these things share? Proper execution renders balance. Every aspect has proper positioning. There is not too much of any one component. Each ingredient, or part of the process, balances and supports the whole. That’s the way I see it.

Spoken like a hedonist. I want to wallow in it.

Can we help?

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