Coq Au Vin

Recipe from Julia Child

I had about a half bottle of Chianti left over from making Bueof Bourgignon, and J isn't a big wine drinker, and I only drink white, so I needed to find a recipe to use it up.

I came across this Coq au Vin recipe from Julia Child.  This is definitely a meal that takes some time in the kitchen, but it is well worth it.  The chicken was tender and falling of the bone, and the wine gave it a wonderful, rich flavor.

3 to 4 ou thick lean bacon
2 T unsalted butter
2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks
1/2 t salt, plus additional for seasoning
1/8 t pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1/4 c cognac (didn't have any, so I skipped this)
3 c Chianti
1 c chicken stock
1/2 T tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 t thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
12 to 24 Brown-Braised Onions, recipe follows
1/2 lb Sauteed Mushrooms, recipe follows
3 T AP flour
2 T softened butter
Fresh parsley leaves

Cut bacon into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry.

In a Dutch oven, saute the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned. Remove to a side dish.

Dry the chicken thoroughly and brown it in the bacon fat/butter.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.

Uncover, and pour in the cognac (if using). Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.

Pour in the wine and add just enough stock to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Simmer the chicken cooking liquid for 1 to 2 minutes, skimming off fat, if necessary. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Remove from heat, and discard bay leaf.

Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste. Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to a simmer, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

Serve the chicken with mushrooms and onions, covered in a bit of the sauce, sprinkle with parsley. I also made brown rice to go with this.

Brown-Braised Onions
1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 T oil
18 to 24 peeled white onions, about 1-inch in diameter
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth

Melt butter with oil in a skillet until bubbling. Add the onions and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible.

Pour in the stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 15 to 20 minutes until the onions are tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet.

Sauteed Mushrooms
2 T butter
1 T oil
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, washed, dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large
1 to 2 T minced shallots or green onions, optional (didn't have these on hand)
Salt and pepper

Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as the mushrooms have browned lightly, remove from heat.


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