By: Saira Malhotra
French dishes often leave us feeling one of two ways: sophisticated or intimidated. When planning a soiree amongst friends, one often likes to throw in the odd hors d’oeuvre of vol au vent or crudites. However, if the kitchen exposes your nervous disposition, you will have nothing to do with it, even if you end up making a far more complex dish just because it sounds simple. Today, I invite you to remove those mental blocks because we are making Coq Au Vin. We could call it Rooster in Wine if it makes you feel any better.
This dish poses little demand on effort but does makes its demand on time. Pan-seared chicken that is slow cooked with wine, stock, aromatic vegetables and herbs gradually loosens up and lets you in on its ‘tender side’. Pop it in the oven and pop yourself on the couch with that book you have been dying to read but never have time for. Once it is ready, and your nose will be able to determine that, cook some spatzle or egg noodles tossed with butter and parsley.
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Calories per serving: 420 per serving
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hrs 20 min
1 whole chicken (3lbs), Quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for lightly coating chicken pieces
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 lb of bacon, cut in to 1/2" thick pieces
1/2 cup celery, medium sized and cut on bias
1/2 cup carrot, medium sized and cut on bias
1/2Â cup pearl onions, peeled and left whole
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup cognac
3/4 bottle (750 ml) red wine
2 cups reduced chicken stock
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 sprig thyme, fresh
1 bay leaf
Fine sea salt
Freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly coat chicken with flour, place in a warm skillet and cook until golden brown. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
2. In the same pan, add a little more oil and cook the bacon gently, rendering the fat. Remove the cooked bacon, and cook the vegetables and pearl onions in the bacon fat until lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cognac and reduce the liquid to burn off alcohol.
3. Sprinkle the 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour combining well to avoid lumps. Add the thyme and bay leaf along with the chicken stock, wine, chicken and bacon. Bring to a simmer, scraping all the loose brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the oven and bake, covered, for 2 hours.
4. Once the chicken is fork tender, remove from the pan and reduce the liquid on the stove top until it thickens like a sauce. Coat the chicken pieces in the sauce and serve with buttered egg noodles.