Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recipe #231: Coq au Vin

I don't post any recipes on here that I don't think are worthy.... the boring ones, the non-special or unique ones, the ones that turn out not quite to my expectations.... But some of the recipes are a step above the others, and this definitely is one of them.  There are many variations to this recipe, but this one uses all common ingredients for a very un-ordinary, awesomely delicious result.   If you want to impress guests, try this one.  It's not difficult at all; it just takes some time.  I found this recipe (and copied it from) www.simplyrecipes.com with my notes in parenthesis.


  • 1/2 lb bacon slices (I got thick bacon slices from the deli)
  • 20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, sliced (I used the pearl onions.  To save time on peeling buy the frozen ones)
  • 3 lbs chicken thighs and legs, excess fat trimmed, skin ON (I used 2lbs, which was 4 each of thighs and drumsticks)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups red wine (pinot noir, burgundy, or zinfandel)  (I used pinot noir)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several fresh thyme sprigs
  • Several fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped (I used closer to 1lb.  Quarter these instead of chopping them)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (I forgot this because I was so excited about serving it up)


1 Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, drain. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 1 inch by 1/4 inch pieces.
2 Brown bacon on medium high heat in a dutch oven big enough to hold the chicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add onions and chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken.)
3 Spoon off any excess fat. Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard.
4 Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.  (NOTE:  reducing takes quite awhile, so plan ahead.  I would have reduced even more, but I was growing impatient and hungry.)
I served this over egg noodles.

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