Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coq au Vin

This coq au vin recipe is supposed to be ready in 90 minutes, but it took me much longer than that. I made the wine reduction sauce first in the morning and let it get to room temp; by the time Matt got home from work in the evening, I finished off the recipe. The result: pure deliciousness. I served my coq au vin over egg noodles, but you can serve it with a side of mashed potatoes, or even over rice.

Make sure you use a medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir or a Rhône Valley Grenache. Avoid bold, heavily oaked red wine varietals like Cabernet and light-bodied wines like Beaujolais.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 to 6)

  • 1 bottle fruity, smooth, medium-bodied red wine (I used Pinot Evil Pinot Noir)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces bacon , preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs , trimmed of excess fat and cut in half crosswise
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 frozen pearl onions , thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup) (see note above)
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms , wiped clean, stems trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  1. Bring all but 1 tablespoon wine (reserve for later use), broth, parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in small bowl; discard remaining fat.
  3. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of chicken in single layer and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining chicken and 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
  4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring frequently, until well combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Add reduced wine mixture, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; add 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return chicken, any accumulated juices, and reserved bacon to pot; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
  6. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce until thick and glossy and measures 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt. Return chicken to pot and top with minced parsley. Serve immediately.