Our crazy Seattle weekend weather demanded warm comfort food. So between the repeating rounds of snow, wind, sunshine, and hail, I made one of my favorite dishes, Coq au Vin. I first fell in love with Coq au Vin when Mom and I made the recipe from the Time Life Foods of the World: Cooking of Provincial France. I loved making something so “exotic”! During my high school years, we frequented a little French café, and it was always my entre of choice. The entre was so popular, you actually had to reserve it when making your dinner reservation. I’ve had many versions of Coq au Vin from random French restaurants, during my travels. One of my favorites is from Anthony Bourdain’s restaurant in NYC, Les Halles. My recipe is from his cookbook of the same name. Bon appétit
1 liter, plus one cup of dry red wine
1 onion, cut into 1 inch dice
1 carrot, cut into 1/4 inch slice
1 celery rib, cut into 1/2 slices
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (instructions below)
1 3.5-4 pound organic whole chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 pound slab bacon cut into small lardons, about 1/4″ by 1″
1/2 pound small, white button mushrooms, stems removed (I could not find tiny mushrooms, so I quartered the ones I bought)
12 pearl onions, peeled (I hate peeling these – I used peeled, frozen pearl onions)
pinch of sugar
1 sprig flat leaf parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 small square cheesecloth
1 small piece of twine
Lay the herbs on the square of cheese cloth. Gather up the corners and tie with the string.
3 large, deep bowls
large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot
small sauté pan
small sauce pan
1 sheet parchment paper
deep serving platter
Combine the bottle of red wine, diced onion, sliced carrot, celery, cloves, peppercorns and bouquet garni in large, deep bowl. Add the chicken and submerge it in the liquid so it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Put it aside.
Strain the marinade reserving the liquids and the solids separately. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in the large Dutch oven. Sear the chicken on all sides turning with tongs, to evenly brown on all sides. Once brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the reserved onions, carrot and celery to the pot and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat evenly. Stir in the reserved marinade liquid and the bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken back into the pot. Simmer very low, slightly covered for about 90 minutes, or until thigh temperature reaches 165′ on a thermometer.
While the chicken cooks, sauté the bacon lardons in a small pan over medium heat until lightly brown. Remove to paper towel to drain. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and sauté the mushrooms in the same pan until golden. Set them aside.
In the small saucepan, combine the pearl onions, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add just enough water to cover the onions, then cover the pan with a circle of parchment paper the same size as the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water has evaporated. Remove the paper and cook until the onions are golden brown. Be careful as this happens fast!
Remove the onions from the pan, set aside. Add the remaining cup of red wine. Reduce by about half or until thick and syrupy. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
When the chicken is cooked through, carefully remove it from the liquid to a deep serving dish.
Add in the bacon, mushrooms and onions to the stockpot. Bring to a gentle simmer. Adjust the sauce for seasoning and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken. If the sauce is not a thick as you like, tighten up with a beurrre manie.
We typically serve this dish with fluffy mashed potatoes. Enjoy with a Washington Syrah and an arugula salad!
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. You will be happy you did.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful evening.