Monday, April 21, 2014

Chicken and Red Wine (Coq au Vin)

Chicken and Red Wine (Coq au Vin)

Last week, I spent in bed, recovering from a bad cold and being rundown.  Once I felt better, I decided to try making coq au vin because we had a partially opened bottle of LMR Ranch House Red.  Also, because I watched the Barefoot Contessa while in bed and she talked about the off-putting purple color, at least to some people.

Since I don't think I have ever made coq au vin --- I looked up what Jacques Pepin and Julia Child had to say about it -- and then went with Jacques.  But I added pancetta for the lardons ---which Julia thought were key.

It doesn't take very long to make. For some reason, I thought coq au vin was a dish you braised for hours.

The hardest part for me was cutting up the chicken --- but you could just buy parts, and skip this step. Just be sure to remove the skin.

Yes, the color is strange.  But it tastes very, very good.

Chicken and Red Wine (Coq au Vin)
(Jacques Pepin's Table)

1 chicken, cut into parts
2-3 ounces of diced pancetta (or lardons)
fresh or dried thyme, about 1/2 t. dried or a sprig of fresh
salt and pepper
mushrooms -- about a pint or 8 large ones, cut up
bottle of good red wine, dry and fruity
pearl onions, about 12, cleaned and peeled
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (2 t.)
1/2 cooking onion, chopped
a pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
gravy flour (or potato starch)
2 T. butter
fresh chives (or parsley)

Cut up the chicken into parts, and reserve the unused parts for soup stock.  Remove the skin from all the parts but the legs.  Dry well with a paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper.
In a skillet large enough to hold the whole dish, brown the pancetta and the pearl onions for a few minutes.
Push them to the side and then add all of the chicken, except the breasts, to brown. Keep scraping up all of the brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
Add the sliced or chopped onion and continue to brown, to keep developing flavor. Add a pinch of sugar.
Add the chopped garlic, thyme, then lay the chicken breast on top, then add as many mushrooms as you can, then the bay leaves.  And cover with red wine.  The breasts will poach in the liquid and be delicious and tender.

Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked but not overcooked.
Remove the meat to your serving dish. Remove the bay leaves.
Then, add 1-2 T. of gravy flour mixed with 1 - 2 T. of butter, to thicken the sauce and reduce it until glossy and thick.
Pour over your chicken and garnish with fresh chives or parsley.
We served it over smashed potatoes.


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