Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Coq Au Vin

Alright. Coq au vin is not supposed to be easy. At least, all the recipes I've looked at tell me so. However, from my understanding, coq au vin used to be a peasant food in France. It was usually made with a rooster, hence the long cooking method (to tender up the tougher connective tissue). I've read a bunch of recipes and I do not see why it has to be difficult. So, I've come up with a recipe here that should take less than thirty minutes to get into a pot, and then you just have to let it simmer for about an hour after that. It's definitely fun to be able to tell people you're making "coq au vin" for dinner, and they never have to know that it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezie! Serve it up with some textbook mashed potatoes and I've pretty sure you've got yourself a winner. I made it yesterday and the brothy gravy around the chicken was delicious. I will note that the longer you cook this the better. Buon appetito!


-1 whole, cut chicken
-2 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch squares, or pancetta, sliced into strips
-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-2 cloves garlic
-2 carrots, sliced
-2 medium onions
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 cup red wine
-1/2 cup red wine vinegar
-2 tbs tomato paste
-2 sprigs of thyme
-1 package white mushrooms, sliced
-kosher salt and pepper

In a heavy bottomed pan, preferably a dutch oven, heat boil the bacon/pancetta in ¼ inch of water. Keep it on high heat and let the water worry itself away, then allow the bacon/pancetta to simmer in the dry pan till it starts to leave a little brown in the pan. Remove the bacon, and, still on high heat, place the chicken pieces, skin side down, into the pan of bacon grease. If you think there isn’t enough grease to cook the chicken, add a tablespoon of oil and heat it up before adding the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes on just the skin side, then remove from the pan.

Add two tbs olive oil Iif necessary) to the pot and sauté the carrots, garlic, and half the onions. Pour in one cup of chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned stuff. Pour in the remaining chicken broth, wine, vinegar, and tomato paste and put the chicken back in, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Arrange the sprigs of thyme around the chicken and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer till the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the skillet, sauté the remaining onions and the mushrooms till they release their liquid and then that liquid reduces by a little more than a half. When the chicken is cooked, pour the onions and mushrooms on top and serve with mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, or even wide egg noodles.

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