Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin- Chicken with Wine

Nothing will make you feel like a celebrity chef more than a little fancy French cooking. This dish is easier than it sounds and absolutely delicious.  Rather than a whole chicken, we like thigh and leg quarters but a whole chicken is traditional.  I also use a flavorful mushroom.  My pick is shiitakes from the farmers market.  Portobello mushrooms or even button will do.

INGREDIENTS:
4 slices thick cut bacon or pancetta, diced
1 (3 to 4-pound) cut-up chicken
1/2 pound carrots, thickly sliced (on the diagonal if you are feeling fancy)
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 pound small whole onions (yes, you need both kinds of onion)
1/2 pound thickly sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine (I use Cabernet)
2 cup chicken stock, divided (not bullion)
10 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour substitute
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until lightly browned. While the bacon is frying, pat chicken dry and sprinkle  with salt and pepper.  Remove the bacon and set aside.  Brown the chicken pieces in small batches.  Transfer to a stock pot or dutch oven.

When all the chicken is browned drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet.

To the bacon grease, add the carrot, sliced onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 6 cracks of pepper. Saute over medium heat  until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the Cognac to the skillet and flambe if you are feeling super sassy

Add the vegetable mix to the stock pot.

Add the wine to deglaze scraping up all the delicious browned bits.  Add to stock pot, top with 1 cup of chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

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Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the chicken is just past pink.

Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove returning to a simmer. Add the small onions and mushrooms. Cook for another 10 minutes until mushrooms are tender.

 

Add flour substitute or cornstarch dissolved in the remaining 1 cup of stock to thicken the sauce.  Add more stock and wine as needed.  Sauce should be that of a medium consistency gravy.

Salt and pepper to taste

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