Showing posts with label Fall meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall meals. Show all posts

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Braised chicken and mushrooms in wine sauce for a fall evening #giveaway

This chicken is a variation of something I remember from my childhood, although I’m pretty sure it did not have shallots or wine!  The updated version has no garlic although usually we’re swimming in the stuff.  Instead we relied on shallots which give it a great flavor and aroma.  This week chicken thighs were on sale as were sliced mushrooms. No contest.  We love chicken thighs as they are meaty and juicy.

The results were  perfect for a cool fall night, maybe a few candles, a glass of wine and the fireplace on.  We had friends coming for dinner and made a big recipe, but you can make half. Like most of our recipes, you can add more or use less of any ingredient.  We are nothing if not flexible.

The chicken and sauce easy and inexpensive and it has a wonderful aroma. Plus it gets rid of that bottle of white wine that wasn’t quite finished after it was opened.   Or you could open a new bottle and serve the rest with dinner! 


4 tbsp butter  (more as needed)
3 tbsp oil
16 chicken thighs
4  green onions, sliced – white and green
3 large  shallots - chopped
1 ½ to 2  tablespoons dried thyme  (it would be better with fresh but I was out of luck)
1 tsp Paprika
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup flour for dredging
2 tablespoons lemon juice
S & P
1 pound of brown mushrooms, sliced


Sauté the mushrooms with the green onions in half the oil and butter  first and set them aside. I used two pans because there was a lot of chicken.

Add extra butter or oil if you need to.  While the mushrooms are cooking, dredge the chicken in batches in flour and S & P.  I use a zippered bag for dredging a few pieces at a time. It's so easy to clean up after.
Remove mushrooms, add the rest of the oil and butter and brown the chicken a few pieces at a time. Add oil and butter again as needed. Do not crowd.  (Sometimes I don’t have the patience but they’re not as nice if crowded). 

Add the shallots with second batch of chicken.
When browned, return the mushrooms and green onions. Add wine, stock, thyme and paprika.  Bring just to a boil, reduce to minimum. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.  Add the lemon when you take the lid off.

Transfer to a platter and pour sauce over. The sauce is (if I do say so myself) AWESOME.

We served this with our fave spinach casserole and French lentil salad. Sometimes we team it with mashed potatoes or pureed cauliflower.

You may be used to us as Victoria Abbott, authors of the book collector mysteries,  but today,  it's Mary Jane Maffini, one half of the collaboration who's doing the talking.  I am letting you know about one of my books that is dear to my heart.  

Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada, a day that is somber and reflective as we think of the many lives lost or ruined by wars and we ponder the courage of those who served. In honor of the day,  I am offering a giveaway.  THE DEAD DON’T GET OUT MUCH is the fifth book in my Camilla MacPhee series and also my favorite and not just because it also includes a ‘trip’ to Italy.  It also tell the story of one veteran who is important in Camilla's life and in the series.

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 Camilla is a feisty lawyer who works as a victims’ advocate in Ottawa, Ontario. Justice is her thing and she never stops until she finds out what’s behind the latest crime in her area.  She may have the world's worst office assistant and a challenging family, but she soldiers on. The Dead Don’t Get Out Much begins at the Remembrance Day ceremonies near Parliament Hill. Mrs. Violet Parnell, a WWII veteran and excellent sidekick is taking part in an event after the ceremony when she gets a shock and claims to have seen a dead man.  Being Mrs. Parnell and pretty well unstoppable, she's soon on her way to Italy to get to the bottom of things. The action continues with Camilla in hot pursuit on an eventful and danger-packed trip to uncover some old secrets.  Mrs. Parnell is one of thousands of Canadian women who went overseas during the second world war, not in combat roles, but in supporting roles as truck drivers, pilots, nurses and other jobs. Of course, these were very dangerous. So many girls from small towns and farms had incredible and difficult experiences as well as adventures.  I hoped to convey something of those experiences in the book.  Plus for years, I had promised Mrs. P that her story would be told and this was her big chance.

Leave a comment saying why you’d like to read this book (Don’t forget to leave your EMAIL address) and your name will be in the draw. Good luck everyone! 

While we're at it here are the books in the Camilla MacPhee series. This series is very well priced now in e-books, but also available in print. 

I hope to connect with you on FACEBOOK. Click to link to Mary Jane Maffini

and click here to find Victoria Abbott. 

Get in on more fun with  our email newsletter.  All you need to do to get on the list is ask us

We're both dying to meet you!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Slow cooker beef stew by Linda Wiken, author #fall food

I decided to focus on a way to keep the adults warm while they take the kiddies trick-or-treating on Halloween. I also did this because I've been feeling a fall chill the odd day and wanted to make my first soup of the season, with lots left over for the freezer.

Now, if you're feeding it to the kiddies, I suggest you leave the wine out of the recipe. :) However, it does add to the flavor.

I searched all my recipes and decided to just wing it, going with what I had in the fridge. But I'm sure the inspiration came from all my reading. I realized as I was slicing and dicing that I lacked a green veggie that could simmer away for 8 hours. So, I left it out. That may have affected the presentation but it didn't bother the taste.

You might want to pick and choose your ingredients, as I did, and also base your quantities on the number of servings. This actually came out to three -- one for me, two for the freezer. Before the snow hits (sorry, I said the "s" word), I hope to have several more frozen soups stocked up and ready for those late or lazy days.

I always like to have some bread alongside, usually fresh, and this time I chose the remainder of a herb schiacciata that I'd just bought.

So, on Oct. 31st, eat up, don that costume, and take the little ones out for some fun!

What you'll need: 

1 bunch of carrots
2 small white turnips
2 small golden beets
1 large yam or sweet potato
1 large parsnip
1 clove garlic
1 lb. stewing beef or similar
3 slices prosciutto
1/2 c. beef broth
1 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
1/2 c. red wine
1 sprig fresh flat-leafed parsley
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 tsp. dried tarragon
Sriracha sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
flour  (I used white rice flour as I avoid wheat whenever possible)
Himalayan salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste

What to do:

1. Slice the vegetables into eatable sizes, around 1 inch slices or squares then set aside.

2. Heat half of the olive oil in large frying pan, add prosciutto and heat 2 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

3. Dredge beef chunks in the flour then add the remaining olive oil to the frying pan and saute the beef chunks for approx. 20 minutes. Then remove and layer on top of the prosciutto.

4.  Add red wine to frying pan, stir and bring to a boil for approx. 1 minute. Pour over the meat.

5. Add the veggies and seasoning into the slow cooker.

6. Stir ketchup into the beef broth. Add a dash or more of Sriracha sauce then pour over the other ingredients.

7. Set slow cooker on low and leave for 8 hours. Enjoy the aroma throughout the day!


 Coming March, 2018
Marinating in Murder, book #3

ROUX THE DAY, A Dinner Club Mystery is now available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pot-roasted Chicken with Apples: a perfect Fall combo

First we’d like to salute our terrific Mystery Lovers Kitchen Colleagues: Sheila Connolly and Daryl Wood Gerber who will both be releasing new books next week.  Sheila is giving us Picked to Die, one of her terrific apple mysteries while Daryl is Stirring the Plot, from the delicious Cookbook Nook series. We thought of them both because of the apples and the cookbooks when we were working on this recipe.  We know they’ll do well. Hats off to you, friends!

This is our favorite family Sunday meal for Fall. We are always dragged out of summer kicking and whimpering, but Fall is a wonderful time for food and flavor, including apples. This time, the day was so dark, wet and dreary that for our Sunday lunch, we had the candles lit. It is a meal that makes you appreciate those dark days. We love it because we get to use our Dutch oven. 

And the cooked apples are silky and delicious. It’s also easy to make. It would make great leftovers, but we’ve never any to confirm this. Again, let me say, it passes the mother-in-law test with flying colors. 
Plus we were ready for a relaxing weekend after the release and launch party for The Wolfe Widow, the third in our book collector mystery series. 


1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or dried)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 apples, peeled and diced (We like Galas or Fujis for this recipe. You can get by with as few as two apples, but we love it this way)

2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350 F. Pat chicken dry. Sprinkle chicken with thyme, salt and pepper.

 Heat butter over medium high heat in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot large enough to hold the chicken. Brown chicken on all sides, about 2 minutes a side, until golden.

Remove chicken from pot. Add apples and sauté for about 3 or 4 minutes or until lightly golden. 

Add cider vinegar, chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to boil. Return chicken to pot,

cover and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

 Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Cut chicken into 4 portions and transfer to a platter and serve with apples and sauce over. 

Pretty easy! It’s a rich and tasty main, so we add simple sides: a crisp green salad, fresh tomatoes, that kind of thing. But it does buddy up nicely with rice or potatoes.  You can see how it warmed up our room!

After this lunch and the lemon dessert (coming soon to a Mystery Lovers Kitchen near you) , MJ curled up with a good book: A Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh, research for our next Book Collector Mystery: The Marsh Madness, a work in progress.

Shall we meet in the reading corner on a dark and dreary day?

We hope you’ll be trying The Wolfe Widow, our September release.  Just be very careful if the doorbell rings.

Walter really wants you to.