I love French cuisine, and Coq au Vin (pronounced CŌKE oh-VANH) is one of my favorite dishes (though "coq" refers to a rooster, it's commonly prepared with hen). It's a combination of tender chicken and a rich, flavorful sauce that French cuisine is known for. It's easy to prepare, though moderately time consuming. If you have a couple of hours to spare though, it's totally worth it. And it makes your house smell divine!
The original recipe is adapted from MarthaStewart.com.
Here all the ingredients have been set up, ready for cooking! I sort of forgot that the garlic was supposed to be sliced and made a little more work for myself by mincing, but the end result was just as good.
Check out the awesome purple chicken after marinating overnight in the wine.
Fresh out of the oven and de-fatted (that should be a word).
Close up shot, mmmm. My plating skills still leave something to be desired, so that's not shown.
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 chicken legs
- 2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, if needed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 10 white pearl onions, peeled (or frozen)
- 1/2 pound small cremini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- 1 chicken liver, coarsely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
The night before:
- Place chicken in a large bowl, and add wine. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
2-3 hours before serving:
- Remove chicken from wine, and pat dry; reserve wine. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate, leaving drippings in pot. (You should have about 3 tablespoons; you may need to add oil.)
- Raise heat to medium-high. Working in batches, cook chicken, flipping once, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side. If you find that it's browning very quickly, lower the heat -- you don't want it to burn. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. (You can do this earlier, but I usually do it after browning the chicken.)
- Add onion to pot and cook 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
- Add pearl onions and mushrooms and cook until brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in flour and tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. At this point, the mixture will be well blended but dry.
- Add Cognac, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. The mixture will still be on the dry side.
- Return bacon and chicken to pot. Pour in reserved wine, and add chicken liver and herbs. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven until chicken has cooked through and vegetables are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Discard herbs, and skim fat from surface. Serve hot.
When I made this before, I lamented that there wasn't enough of the delicious sauce. So when I made it this time, I doubled the sauce ingredients (wine, flour, tomato paste, Cognac). Also, the bacon drippings have always been enough to cook the chicken and the rest; I've never had to add the extra oil. Alternatively, if using bacon drippings is too rich/decadent for you, you could drain it after the bacon's cooked and use olive oil for the rest of the steps.
Really wonderful served with vegetables (especially potatoes, as you can liberally spoon the sauce over them), rice, and/or pasta. And of course, crusty bread is a must.
For dessert, I made Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies, first introduced by LJer dictumsibylla. The recipe is here. Since I love the flavor of pumpkin I could use even more of it. Maybe next time I'll double the pumpkin portion.