Classic Coq Au Vin
- 10 slices bacon sliced 1/2" pieces
- 2 chickens - (abt 3 1/2 to 4 lbs) quartered, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 20 small pearl onions peeled
- 1/2 cup minced shallots - (2 large shallots)
- 1 garlic head cloves separated, and peeled
- 1 pound button mushrooms wiped clean, and halved or quartered if large (should match size of onions)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 3 cups full-bodied dry red wine (such as Pinot Noir or Cotes-du-Rhone)
- 1 1/2 cups rich chicken stock
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tspn dried thyme)
- 1 bay leaf
- Braised Leeks (see recipe)
- Egg noodles accompaniment
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large, heavy Dutch oven over high heat fry the bacon until crisp and all of the fat is rendered. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crisp bacon bits to paper towels to drain. Reserve.
Season the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces in the hot bacon fat, working in batches, if necessary, and turning to ensure even cooking. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large plate or bowl and set aside.
Remove some of the bacon fat, leaving about 4 tablespoons in the Dutch oven. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the chopped onion, pearl onions, shallots and garlic cloves to the Dutch oven and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until they've released most of their liquid and have begun to brown. Add the flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly add the wine and stock, stirring constantly. Add the thyme, bay leaf, reserved bacon and chicken. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover the pot, place in the oven and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.
Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving dish and cover loosely to keep warm. Return pot to medium-low heat. Skim any fat from the surface of the cooking liquid and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes to heat through, then serve.
Serve with egg noodles and Braised Leeks. Garnish with the chopped parsley.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 servings.