|Photo by Kate Jackson|
Ingredients1/2 cup Harter House thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/4- by 1 1/2-inch strips (optional)
2 or more tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds chicken thighs/legs with skin, thoroughly dried
1/4 cup Cognac or Armagnac
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
20 pearl onions, peeled (can use frozen)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or pinot noir
About 2 cups chicken stock (Homemade is best) or beef stock
1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
About 1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, rinsed, and quartered
Mashed or new potatoes
DirectionsTo make the coq au vin on your stove top, toss bacon in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot along with 2 tablespoons oil over medium or medium-high until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
2. Heat the drippings or oil remaining in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. (You may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. (If working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot.) Carefully pour the Cognac or Armagnac into the pot and wait until it becomes bubbling hot. If desired—and if you’re brave—ignite the sauce with a match. Let it flame for a minute, gently tilting the pot by its handle and swirling the sauce to burn off the alcohol. To extinguish the flames, simply cover the pan with its lid.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pan and then nestle the onions, carrots and potatoes, around the chicken. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently, turning the pieces once, for about 10 minutes.
4. Uncover the pot, sprinkle the flour over everything, and turn the chicken and vegetables so the flour is absorbed by the sauce. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, for 3 to 4 minutes more.
5. Remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pot, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness (there should be no trace of pink and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife). Grab some tongs and transfer the chicken pieces to the plate when they’re done. If the vegetables are not quite tender, continue cooking them in the sauce, then return the chicken to the pot, add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be just thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables. (If the sauce seems too thin, bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.) Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning accordingly. Serve the coq au vin immediately or let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, skim any fat that has congealed on the surface of the stew and place the pot of coq au vin over medium-low heat.
You can consider incorporating some flavor-making steps that were omitted in the making Julia Child's version of the French classic. back into your coq au vin routine to imbue it with layer after layer of complexity. First, uncork that bottle of red and douse the bird, allowing it to take an overnight bath in the fridge to infuse the meat with a subtle but certain depth of flavor—not to mention a slightly freakish maroon hue. Drain the chicken then pat it dry and continue with the searing, reserving the wine to use during cooking.
Another easy trick? Sauté those teensy pearl onions in the rendered bacon drippings prior to adding them to the stew for what we think are obvious reasons. Same goes with the mushrooms. And never, ever serve the stew straightaway from the stovetop; rather, let it cool and then refrigerate it ’till the next day, skimming any fat from the surface and heating the coq au vin gently—and we do mean gently—over low heat until warmed through. And you thought you didn’t know how to speak French.
FROM - LeitesCulinaria.com Adapted from Julia Child's Kitchen
Interesting reading about Julia Child and the History of this recipe.
Notes from cooks
Jackie made mashed potatoes. She added more mushrooms and pearl onions than the recipe called for, and hungered for even more. The dish was served with multi-colored baby carrots. She served an Oregon medium-bodied Pinot Noir with this dish.
Krista served it with egg noodles and a salad, and her guests nearly licked their plates, they loved it so much.
Alice added crunchy French bread for dipping into the extra sauce.