Valentine's Dinner for Two

Christina Lane, the author of Cooking for Two and Dessert for Two, stops by Good Day to make a romantic dinner and dessert. Her chicken and bacon cooked in red wine is served with mashed potatoes on the side and mini chocolate cakes in ramekins.

Coq Au Vin for Two

2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced into lardons (1" rectangles) 
1 small onion, diced 
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1â? pieces 
1 cup sliced mushrooms 
3 small bay leaves 
1 tsp dried thyme leaves 
4 cloves garlic, finely minced 
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2â? chunks 
8 oz can crushed tomatoes 
1 cup chicken broth 
1 cup red wine (Cabernet or Burgundy) 
salt, to taste 
pepper, to taste 

Mashed Potatoes:
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced 
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
4 tablespoons butter 
salt, to taste 
pepper, to taste 

In a 4-quart enamel-coated cast iron saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon, onion, carrots, mushrooms, bay leaves and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute. Next, add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes until seared on the outside. 

Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, and wine. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 

Remove the bay leaves, taste for seasoning, and serve over mashed potatoes. 

To make the potatoes, cook the potatoes in plenty of salted boiling water until tender. 

Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot. Add the milk, cream, and 2 T of the butter. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. 

Divide the potatoes between two serving plates, and top with the remaining two T of butter (1 tablespoon on each plate). 

Ladle the Coq Au Vin on top, and serve immediately with the rest of the wine.


Mini Chocolate Cakes in Ramekins

1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
2 (heaping) tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon baking soda 
pinch of salt 
1 large egg yolk 
2 tablespoons milk 
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons neutral oil 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon warm coffee (or water) 

For the frosting: 
1/4 cup powdered sugar 
1 (heaping) tablespoon cocoa powder 
milk (or coffee), as needed 
sprinkles, optional 

First, spray 2 6-ounce ramekins very well with cooking spray, and set them on a mini baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 350. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and coffee (or water). Add the dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients, and stir gently to combine. 

Divide the mixture between the two ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

While the cakes cool, make the frosting: whisk together all ingredients, adding more coffee or milk to thin it out to a pourable consistency. Sprinkles!