5 Essential Comfort Food Recipes & Wines to Pair With

This week’s tragedy in Las Vegas has left me reeling. While terribly cruel and savage on its own, the fact that it happened on the heels of a string of catastrophic natural disasters (Hurricanes Irma and Maria as well as earthquakes in Mexico) makes me want to curl up in a big, cozy blanket with my dogs and never. leave. the. house.

Unfortunately, if I were to do that, I’d be letting fear win which is NOT an option. Plus, I’d have to venture out sooner or later to stock up on food and wine anyway. So I thought I’d share five of my favorite Comfort Food Recipes that are perfect for everything from soothing a broken heart to restoring your faith in humanity.

As always, wine pairings ARE included.


1.) Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup: This favorite, inspired by my husband’s Ukrainian heritage, includes delicious Savoy cabbage, ground beef and pork, fresh dill, tomatoes and garlic in a savory, smoky-paprika infused broth.
Wine Pairing: A medium-bodied Italian red wine like Barbera d’Asti or Dolcetto from Piedmont


2.) Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons: I always found this delicious North African dish daunting because I thought I had to buy special equipment to make it. But guess what? I was WRONG! Featuring mouthwatering flavors of chicken thighs, ginger, saffron, turmeric, cilantro and green olives, you are guaranteed to enjoy.
Wine Pairing: Pair with a Spanish white wine like a Godello or Rioja Blanco


3.) Arroz con Pollo (Spanish Chicken & Rice): This delicious, Spanish-inspired dish is a classic one pot meal. So if time is an issue, opt for this comfort food recipe which features meaty chicken pieces, piquillo peppers, saffron and dry white wine. The dish’s beautiful colors make a dazzling presentation as well.
Wine Pairing: Pair with a Spanish white wine like an Albariño or Viura.


4.) Quick Coq au Vin: This dish is a Glamorous Gourmet favorite and French comfort food at its best! A riff on the famed classic French recipe from Burgundy, this reimagined “quick” version can be on the table and ready to eat in under an hour AND packs oodles of delicious flavor.
Wine Pairing: Enjoy this dish with a hearty red Burgundy or Cru Beaujolais.


5.) Lamb Ragu with Tagliatelle Pasta: If it’s pasta you’re craving – look NO further! This divine recipe features ground lamb, garlic, shallots, red wine and purchased marinara sauce so you’re not stuck over the stove ALL day. Topped with fresh ricotta and mint leaves, you’ll feel instantly transported to Tuscany.
Wine Pairing: A Tuscan full-bodied red wine like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Chianti Classico Riserva

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons & a Spanish White Wine

With our latest blast of chilly weather (here in South Florida it actually got down to 45 degrees!) I was looking for a dish that was not only comforting…but also had a glamorous, exotic edge. So when I came across this recipe for Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons I knew I’d found what I was looking for.

Thankfully, my culinary instincts were spot on (LOVE when that happens!). This dish features succulent chicken thighs simmered in a hearty, fragrant broth with exotic, savory herbs and spices including ginger, sweet paprika, cilantro, turmeric and saffron. My fellow foodies, this delightful recipe perfumed our home with the most wonderful aromas and dazzled our palates with its toe-curling deliciousness.


Not only is it delicious, this Chicken Tagine is also super fun to make on a lazy day and is guaranteed to reward your patience. The glorious finishing touch is the addition of preserved lemons (that you’re gonna make yourself!) which accentuate the dish’s complex flavors with their citrusy goodness.

But first things first…what the flip is a tagine?


An authentic, earthenware Tagine


Saffron threads and turmeric are commonly used spices in a tagine

A tagine, also spelled tajine, is a North African dish named after the conical-shaped earthenware pot it is cooked in. This stew of meat, chicken or fish is cooked in the broad-based bottom, historically over hot coals, where the steam accumulates in the narrow, cone-shaped top and drips back down onto the stew, preserving all the delicious flavor. Luckily, a stove top works just as well and while a tagine still takes some time to cook, the sublime flavor is well worth the wait.

The first issue at hand when preparing this Moroccan Chicken Tagine is to make the preserved lemons. Preserved lemons? I’m supposed to MAKE preserved lemons? I hear your inner panic brewing but before you spiral into a full blown anxiety attack let me assure you, this step couldn’t be easier.

Simply slice up 2-3 lemons, toss then in a glass baking dish, sprinkle them with Kosher salt and cook them low and slow for 3 hours. The result is salty, lemony deliciousness and I would advise you to hang on to the liquid the lemons are cooked in. It makes a fabulous seasoning for the finished dish. Instead of salt, just douse it with a little briny, lemony elixir.


The next step is the marinating of the chicken thighs. Oooooh what’s better than skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs? Just pop those beauties into a gallon sized ziploc bag with the fragrant, flavorful mixture of cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika, onion, oil, salt, pepper and preserved lemon pulp. Ideally, they should marinate in the fridge overnight for maximum flavor, but if you forget to do this the night before, 4-6 hours of marination will do just fine.

Then, it’s time to tagine – why can’t it be a verb too? If you are the proud owner of a Le Creuset Dutch oven (I especially love my 9 1/2 quart oval one) or an actual tagine, dust that baby off and prepare yourself for the deliciousness at hand. From here on out you simply simmer the chicken thighs and the marinade with the parsley and cilantro stem bundle, onion, turmeric and saffron threads. Over the course of the next 30 minutes, you’ll layer in the remaining ingredients and you’ve got one fabulously mean tagine. Sorry I just couldn’t help myself!

Simply serve over a bed of fragrant Basmatic rice and you are good to go, well, except for one crucial component…the wine!


While I was partially inspired by the weather, a special wine also played a role in making this recipe, the 2014 Casa Abril Godello ($17). This delightful white wine from Spanish wine specialist and Casa Abril owner, April Cullom, hails from the Valdeorras DO, located in northwest Spain. It is 100% Godello, a native Spanish white grape variety, from 25-40 year old vines.

Fermented entirely in stainless steel, this Godello has lovely aromas of saline and citrus while on the palate, notes of apple, peach, lemon zest and a hint of almond skin accompany a bright, food-friendly acidity. This wine immediately had me thinking of food and it paired brilliantly with the flavors and textures of the Moroccan Chicken Tagine. You’ll be reading more about April and her wonderful wines in next month’s Inspiring Women post so stay tuned.

If you’d like to see this month’s installment featuring some fabulous, female, James Beard Award-winning Chefs, please click here.


I hope you enjoy this Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon as much as we do. Paired with the Casa Abril Godello it has quickly become one of our favorites. Definitely put it on your “To Do” list for your next snow day OR lazy Saturday. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed and I hope it brings comforting deliciousness to a cozy day.



5.0 from 1 reviews
"Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons"
Recipe type: Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 large yellow onion, grated (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive, canola or grapeseed oil - one without much flavor
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 cup pitted green Moroccan or Greek olives - Italian Castelvetranos work nicely too
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • 4 strands of saffron
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley, ¼ cup chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, ¼ cup chopped
  • Stems from parsley & cilantro tied with kitchen twine
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooked Basmati rice for serving
  1. To make the preserved lemons, preheat oven to 250 degrees. Meanwhile, cut lemons into sixths, lengthwise and place in a glass baking dish (anything non-corrosive is fine!). Sprinkle the lemon slices with 2 Tablespoons of the Kosher salt and cover with water. Cook lemons in preheated oven for 3 hours and then allow to cool. Any unused portion should be refrigerated.
  2. To prepare the tagine, mix the cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ cup grated onion and the oil in a large bowl.
  3. Rinse the preserved lemons and remove the pulp reserving the rind for later use.
  4. Add the lemon pulp to the mixing bowl and then add the raw chicken. Mix everything together and then place in a large gallon plastic bag. Place bag in a glass baking dish and put in the fridge to marinate overnight or at least 6-8 hours in order to achieve maximum flavor.
  5. When ready to cook, remove chicken mixture from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. In a large Dutch oven or casserole, add the chicken and marinade, parsley-cilantro bundle, remaining grated onion, turmeric, saffron threads and 1½ cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, stir the chicken and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Keep sauce on stove and continue to reduce.
  9. Slice the preserved lemon rind into thin slices and add to the sauce along with the olives, chopped parsley and cilantro. Reduce for an additional 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
  10. Pour sauce over platter of cooked chicken, garnish with additional parsley and cilantro if desired and serve over cooked Basmati rice.

The post Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons & a Spanish White Wine appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Cozy & Comforting: Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup

With Thanksgiving and its legion of leftovers finally behind us – buh-bye turkey and stuffing – it’s time to change it up and indulge in some deliciously different flavors!

And since it’s officially sweater weather (and you have to say it like this!) it’s prime time for some comforting, satisfying soups as well. So get cozy and comfy and prepare to enjoy our crazy delicious recipe for Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup.


“But I don’t LIKE cabbage!” you might say. Well, I used to think that too, but that’s only because you haven’t tried this soup yet. Only a few short years ago, my husband, a gent of Ukrainian descent, expressed a craving for classic Ukrainian dishes such as stuffed cabbage and pierogies. While I had sampled pierogies during the “high carb/no fat” diet trend of the 90’s (yum!), I had never had cabbage before. To be honest, the smell of it never really appealed to me and it seemed rather, um, unglamorous.

But in the spirit of culinary adventure, I did some research and came up with this utterly delicious and comforting recipe for Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup that’s guaranteed to win over even the staunchest anti-cabbage-ite.


This thick, rich soup features thin strips of Savoy cabbage braised in a delightful, savory broth featuring ground beef, pork, garlic, onions and tomatoes accentuated by dill, coriander, allspice and smoked paprika. The synergy of these ingredients is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, providing that 1 + 1 = 3 experience we all seek. For the anti-cabbage-ites you’re going to have to trust me on this, but you WILL be thanking me later.

As for a wine pairing, Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup was a head-scratcher at first. But then I did what I usually do on the, ahem, rare occasion I’m stumped for a wine pairing: head to Italy! Italian wines are so incredibly food friendly, they can often help you out of a bind when you’re not sure what to pour. Both Italian whites and reds have wonderful acidity and, with so many to choose from, you’re bound to find a wine with a similar weight as your dish. For this soup, I recommend light-bodied reds such as Barbera d’Asti or Chianti Classico which complement the ground beef, spices and tomato elements of this soup.

stuffed-cabbage-soup-dill-closeupstuffed-cabbage-soup-simmering-soup-dillstuffed-cabbage-soup-closeup-2Ukrainian or not, I hope you enjoy our delicious recipe for Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup as much as we do. If you’re anything like the Miskews, it might just find its way into regular rotation at your home during chilly sweater weather! Stay tuned for more seasonally-inspired, ssatisfying recipes and also, do YOU have a favorite comfort food? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section below!

Bon appétit,




5.0 from 4 reviews
"Comfort Food: Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup"
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • 4 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked, long grain white rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lbs ground meatloaf mix (beef & pork)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped
  • Small head of Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander
  • Bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. ) In a deep pot, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat mixture and brown, about 5-7 minutes. While browning, season the meat with the coriander, allspice, smoked paprika, Kosher salt & black pepper.
  2. ) Once meat is browned, add bay leaf, carrot, onion & garlic and cook 3-4 minutes, until veggies begin to soften. Then add cabbage to the pot and begin to wilt.
  3. ) Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce & 4 cups of chicken stock to the pot. Cover the pot and bring soup to a boil on high heat and then reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  4. ) Meanwhile, in a separate pot heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the uncooked rice to the pot and toss to coat in the oil, allowing it to slightly toast. Add remaining 2 cups of chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook rice for 18-20 minutes or until rice is tender enough to eat.
  5. ) Back at the soup pot, add the chopped parsley and dill, stir to combine and season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.
  6. ) Ladle soup into a bowl and top with a scoop of the cooked rice (I use my ice cream scoop for this!). Garnish with any extra parsley and dill and serve immediately.

The post Cozy & Comforting: Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Perfect for Fall: Burgundy Inspired Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions!

If I had to sum up Fall in one dish it would have to be roasted chicken. On a chilly, autumn day, it’s the culinary equivalent of your favorite comfy, cashmere cardigan that provides warmth as well as a little bit of nostalgia. I positively adore this classic dish and consider roasted chicken research a passionate personal pursuit. Over the... Read More

The post Perfect for Fall: Burgundy Inspired Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions! appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

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Perfect for Fall: Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions!

The Ultimate Roasted Chicken, Mushrooms, Rosemary

If I had to sum up Fall in one dish it would have to be roasted chicken. On a chilly, autumn day, it’s the culinary equivalent of your favorite comfy, cashmere cardigan that provides warmth as well as a little bit of nostalgia.

I positively adore this classic dish and consider roasted chicken research a passionate personal pursuit. Over the years I’ve tried a variety of incarnations and while it’s always fun to try new things, the best versions of this dish are often the most simple: succulent chicken with crispy skin seasoned generously with salt, pepper, butter, and a selection of seasonal herbs…it just doesn’t get much better!

Burgundy, Roasted Chicken, Beaune, Wine, Creme Brulee

One of my most memorable poultry experiences was during a trip to France’s Burgundy wine region at Bistro de l’Hotel in L’Hotel de Beaune. It was a roasted Bresse chicken, a breed prized for its tender flesh and sublime depth of flavor named for its area of origin, near France’s Rhône region. Bresse chickens were the first livestock to be granted AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) status in 1957 and, much like France’s AOC wines, are subjected to very exacting standards in order to preserve the qualities which make them so unique. The Bresse chicken at Bistro de l’Hotel was simply roasted with butter, white wine, and seasoned with salt and pepper which allowed the flavor of the meat to really shine through. The bird was then carved tableside, its salty, golden juices beckoning from the cutting board. The skin was deliciously crisp and flavorful while the breast meat was as tender and toothsome as the dense, meaty leg and thigh. Paired with a 2010 Alex Gambal Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes I experienced true poultry nirvana that night and the perfectly executed crème brûlée which followed certainly didn’t hurt!

Inspired by my experience in Burgundy, as well as many other delicious poultry encounters, I came up with this recipe for a delicious basic bird. Once you have that recipe under your belt, you can accessorize according to the season or mood. In the Fall, rosemary, mushrooms and onions are great choices, while in the Spring, lemon and thyme would be ideal. To prepare the chicken I always use an organic bird which I butterfly by removing the backbone. Now don’t panic! Butterflying a bird is easy to do and allows the chicken to cook faster and more evenly. Using your poultry shears, cut a line parallel to the bird’s spine from the tail to neck. Remove the spine and discard or reserve for chicken stock. If you’re squeamish you can absolutely ask your butcher to do this for you – there’s no shame in that!

Butterflied Chicken, Roasted Chicken

When roasting a chicken or other meat it’s important to use a roasting pan or baking sheet that’s not too big. The ingredients should fit with a minimal amount of room to spare, otherwise if the pan is too large, any drippings will evaporate and possibly burn, leaving you high and dry with no hopes for gravy or jus to serve the meat with – a culinary travesty! With the spine removed, the butterflied chicken is placed on an appropriate sized baking sheet, rubbed with olive oil, and seasoned generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fragrant, fresh rosemary sprigs are tucked between the bird’s thigh and breast while sliced onions, mushrooms, and more fresh rosemary are scattered messily around the chicken. For a little added nostalgia, sprinkle the entire tray with poultry seasoning (such as Bell’s - hello childhood!) and the minute you put the tray in your pre-heated oven your kitchen will smell heavenly!

Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Onions

I like to serve the roasted chicken plated atop a delicious White Bean & Garlic Mash (see recipe below) which catches all of the delicious juices, however, traditional mashed potatoes will also work perfectly well. Top the chicken with roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions and drizzle with the remaining juice and a generous sprinkle of Maldon sea salt which adds delcious texture and crunch. In keeping with the season, an earthy, cherry and spice-tinged red Burgundy or New World Pinot Noir will enhance the flavors of the dish beautifully. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!





Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions
Serves 2-4

1 – 3 1/2 – 4 lb organic chicken
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 small yellow onions
Good olive oil
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Tablespoon poultry seasoning such as Bell’s
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Maldon Sea Salt for garnish

Line a medium sized baking sheet with foil and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove giblets from cavity of chicken (if necessary), rinse bird & pat dry. Place chicken breast side down on a cutting board and using your kitchen shears, make a parallel cut up each side of the spine from tail to neck until the spine is free. Remove and discard or reserve for stock.

Place the butterflied chicken, breast side up onto the lined baking sheet. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck and fold two of the rosemary sprigs in half and tuck them between the thigh and breast on each side of the bird. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and massage onto skin so it is evenly distributed. Season chicken generously with Kosher salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.

Quarter each onion, and then quarter them again so you are left with 8 onion wedges per onion. Scatter onion pieces, sliced mushrooms and leaves only from the remaining 2 sprigs of rosemary around the chicken. Drizzle the mushrooms, onions & rosemary with approximately 3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil (or to taste), season again with Kosher salt & pepper, and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the Bell’s seasoning over everything if desired and slice butter into pats and place on top of the chicken, onions, mushrooms and rosemary.

Slide tray into oven and bake for 1 hour, checking occasionally to rearrange mushrooms & onions. After an hour, drop the oven temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, just enough time to allow the onions to caramelize and the skin to get a golden brown.

Plate chicken atop a mound of White Bean & Garlic Mash (see recipe below) and top with roasted mushrooms & caramelized onions. Drizzle with juice and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt to taste.

White Bean & Garlic Mash
Serves 2-4

2 – 15 oz. cans white beans (I prefer Great Northern), drained & rinsed
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed, flat leaf Italian parsley leaves
1/3 cup good olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 turns freshly ground black pepper

Add beans, garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, Kosher salt, and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is well combined but still retains a chunky texture. Adjust seasonings and add additional olive oil or lemon juice to achieve desired texture and flavor.

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