Thursday, March 4, 2010
One of my good friends Kelly sent me a link to The Amateur Gourmet and his version of Coq au Vin. Immediately I knew that I too must make this. As I'm sure many of you have realized by now I'm a sucker for long slow braised dishes, and dishes that include wine. Well, my friends, this one has both :) And its wonderful!!!
There are a TON of steps to making this meal. Lots of little, simple things, but a LOT of them nonetheless. I'm pretty adventurous in the kitchen and even I was thinking about half way through, "This better be some damn good chicken for all this flipping work!" I'm happy to report that it was worth the work.
When my husband took his first bite of Coq au Vin, he looked at me and said "This is the most complex sauce, its like a good chocolate in that regard". Do I love that man, or what?? He's so right too, its a very deep flavored, complex and yet oh so comfy cozy home cooking.
And the smell...dear Lord, the smell!! Forget April Rain or Apple Breeze air fresheners, they need to sell Coq au Vin scented febreeze. The smell was out of this world good.
My 3 yr old daughter even enjoyed this meal. She told me "its like a restaurant Mom, but its our own house!" What an astute little girl I have :) It really was out of this world. If you have 3-4 hours and want to impress your friends and family, I highly recommend making this dish.
Coq au Vin
adapted from Molly Stevens and The Amateur Gourmet
1 chicken cut into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breast and 2 wings)
1 bottle red wine (I used el cheap-o boxed Burgundy wine, worked great!)
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 carrots cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic crushed but whole
1 t dry thyme or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 t kosher salt
1/3 t pepper
4 strips bacon, diced
1 cup chicken stock
1 T tomato paste
1 bag pearl onions (next time I'm using cipolini onions I think they'd be a lot better)
1 pack cremini mushrooms (or white mushrooms)
3 T butter
1/4-1/2 c flour for dredging
First do all of your prep work: chop veggies, measure herbs, dice bacon, cut up chicken (if using whole) and pat it dry. Preheat oven to 325*
In a heavy bottom pan - I used my trusty enameled cast iron Dutch Oven - cook bacon until crispy. Remove and reserve bacon bits.
Season chicken pieces with 1 t salt. Dredge chicken in flour on both sides. Put chicken pieces into the hot bacon fat and cook until very browned. The browner the better here. Brown chicken in 2 batches for best color and results. Set chicken aside.
Add diced onions and carrots to the pan, adding 1 T butter if needed (I had enough bacon fat in the pan still), cook about 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir well, scraping up as many browned on bits from the pan as you can.
Once the onions start to brown add the tomato paste. Stir paste into the veggies very well and cook about 5 minutes, you'll really start to smell the tomato paste as it cooks and browns.
Add red wine and herbs, bring to a boil. Scrap the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the cooked on fond from the bottom, incorporating it into the sauce. Bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes or until reduced by half.
Once wine has reduced by half add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and remove 1/2 cup of the braising liquid for later use in the pearl onions. Add bacon and chicken to the braising liquid, legs and thighs in first, wings and breasts skin side up, on top. Cover the top of the dutch oven with parchment paper or tin foil (I used foil) and place lid on top creating a very tight seal and put it in the oven.
After 15 minutes flip the breasts over so the skin side is in the braising liquid, recover with foil and lid, cook an additional 60 minutes or until chicken is fork tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the garnish of pearl onions and mushrooms. In a sautee pan (I used my trusty cast iron skillet, man I love that thing!) melt 1.5 T butter. Once it stops foaming add the bag of pearl onions. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir well, recover and cook 5 additional minutes. Remove lid, allow liquid to evaporate and onions to brown, about 5-10 minutes longer. Once onions are browned add the reserved braising liquid, bring to a boil and reduce to glaze the onions. Remove onions to a small bowl, scraping out as much of the liquid from the pan as possible.
Melt remaining 1.5 T butter, once it stops foaming add the mushrooms and cook until they are very browned, about 10-15 minutes at my altitude. They may give off a bit of moisture, just keep cooking them until they are nice & toasty. You may need to add 1-2 t EVOO to keep things moist while cooking (I did). Once mushrooms are browned reserve them with the pearl onions.
~*~the original recipe didn't call for this but I just couldn't resist deglazing the pan, it was so brown from the onions and mushrooms, it seemed a waste to just throw that wonderful fond away. The Kitchen Witch added about 1/2 c red wine, deglazed it and added the wine to the mushrooms & onions. Feel free to do the same if you so desire~*~
Now, this last step will depend on how much of the braising liquid you have left in the pan. I had about 1 cup, 1/4 c of that was fat, so skim off any fat (I used a gravy separator) and didn't really see any reason to further reduce that as I wanted some extra sauce (for my mashed potatoes). If you have more than 1 cup of the braising liquid left you might want to reduce it some. Either way remove the chicken pieces to a plate & cover to keep warm. Remove bay leaf & discard.
Once liquid is reduced (or not) add the garnish to the liquid, stir to mix.
Serve chicken pieces with the onion/mushroom/carrot/bacon pieces and sauce over top. Excellent with garlic mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.
Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 5.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
Cholesterol 106.1 mg
Sodium 780.3 mg
Potassium 601.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Sugars 8.8 g
Protein 32.4 g