I’ve attempted making Coq au Vin (for help pronouncing this French name, click here) once before and it was alright, but this time, it was truly lovely. This is because I’ve acquired a Dutch oven since then and was able to braise the chicken the way it was meant to be. The meat was super tender – it literally fell off the bone – and the sauce thickened to a perfectly rich consistency.
*The preparation of Coq au Vin usually starts with the rendering of bacon fat but I skipped this step. I know, I know, this is nuts and totally unlike me but I recently found out I have high-ish cholesterol, which doesn’t come to me as much of a surprise as I’d like it to, so I’m trying to be less of a fatass now.
*I served this dish simply, with buttered Stelline pasta – “tiny stars” – the combination of which I found to be pretty dope. In her book, Julia Child suggests serving Coq au Vin with buttered boiled potatoes. It is Julia Child, so that must be a pretty good idea, too.
(Yield: about 4 servings)
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lbs (about 6 pieces) chicken legs, bone in, skin on
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
10 oz crimini mushrooms, stemmed, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 dry bay leaves
2 oz cognac
2 tsp all-purpose flour
About 1.5 c (half a .75L bottle) dry red wine
About 1.5 c low-sodium chicken stock
Salt/freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish
Procedure: Place a Dutch oven over high heat and add oil. Wash and pat dry chicken and season both sides with salt and pepper (remember to season each layer hereafter). Add to pot. Cook for about 4 min, until golden brown, turn, and cook for 3-4 more min. Remove from pot and set aside. Lower heat to medium-low and add onion. Sauté until translucent, about 4 min, and add carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic and bay leaves.
Sauté until softened, about 8 min, stirring frequently (make sure to scrape chicken bits off of the bottom – that’s the good stuff). Turn heat off and pour in cognac. Light a long match and hold over cognac. Turn heat on and a flame should appear – keep extremities and loose clothing away! (This is a good time to start preheating the oven to 325F). When the flame subsides, stir in flour and cook for 60 sec. Then add wine and bring to simmer. Simmer for 4 min, to evaporate alcohol, and add chicken stock. When the mixture is boiling again, nestle chicken pieces pack into pot. Chicken should be totally covered in liquid; if it isn’t, add more wine or stock.
I used this awesome, clean and tart Cono Sur Pinot Noir. It’s one of my favorites and it’s super cheap.
Cover pot tightly with lid and place into preheated oven. Take it out 90 impatient minutes later and garnish with parsley. Serve warm, preferably with the same wine you used for cooking. Bon appetit!
So how’s your weekend going? Have you done/eaten anything exciting? Share below!