Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coq au Vin

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Braised chicken in wine is the literal translation of this dish although "coq" in French means rooster. Typically, most recipes use regular chicken or the capon variety and while the traditional choice of wine is Burgundy, your favorite red wine will do just fine. I first saw this dish watching What Will Brian Boitano Make? on the Food Network Channel. Okay, don't judge me but I can relate to him as he has no professional cooking experience but rather cooks for the fun of it. The recipe featured on the Food Network website however is a bit different from what aired so I hunted down a good recipe to try out. 

Although most of the ingredients are similar, I opted for the more authentic version using Anthony Bourdain's take on the dish. You can say I went for the polar opposite in terms of the author of the dish: Brian being considered as one of the most well-loved skaters in America while Anthony Bourdain is television's version of a bad boy in the cooking world. Too bad I am off alcohol right now or else, I'll be slugging shots of brandy whilst cooking as Anthony suggests. He also made a comment on how this dish smells prior to cooking. I was skeptical at first but while taking the chicken pieces out of the marinade mix, I have to say that he was right. It is not offensive but it does smell a bit like something you don't want to eat but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with a really excellent dish.

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The dish is very similar to Beef Bourguignon which I already featured in this blog. However, the similarities lie mostly in how they are prepared and the basic ingredients they share but each dish have their own merits. I've also seen a version where white wine was used specifically Riesling, hence the name, Coq au Riesling but I guess any good wine will work for this dish. Usually served with cooked pasta (fettuccini or wide egg pasta) dressed with a little bit of olive oil and butter, I prefer to serve mine with rice pilaf. 

Coq au Vin - Adapted*

2 lbs chicken thighs, skin removed
olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta or bacon (lardon), chopped
1 white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled
1/2 cup flour + 2 tbsp
Salt and pepper
1 lb Crimini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bottle Cabernet Sauvingon
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2-3 bay leaves
6 tbsp unsalted butter
handful of parsley

1. In a bowl, marinate the chicken 
overnight in 3/4 bottle of wine with 
    the white onion, carrots, celery and the herbs. Seal and store in the 

2. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Strain the marinade and set

    aside the liquid portion. Remove the bay leaves from the marinated 
    vegetable mix and set it aside. Transfer the vegetable mix into a food 
    processor and blitz until you get a fine paste. Set aside with the bay 

3. Heat about 2 tsbp of olive oil with 2 tbsp butter in a deep skillet over
    medium heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and
    dredge in the flour. Fry the chicken pieces until slightly browned on
    both sides. Set aside. In the same pan, add the vegetable paste with 

    the bay leaves and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.

4. Add 2 tbsp of flour over the vegetable paste and mix well. Add the
    wine marinade to deglaze the pan and return the seared chicken into
    the pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about forty 


5. While the chicken is simmering, heat the lardon in another skillet
    over medium heat. Cook until it renders its fat or until it is golden
    brown and crisp. Spoon it out and set aside. Add the mushrooms and
    saute for about 2 minutes or until just coated with the lardons fat. 

    Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
6. Add the cippollini onions 
    to the same skillet and 
    add 1 cup of water, a 
    pinch of salt, a pinch of 
    sugar and 2 tbsp of 
    butter. Bring the water 
    to a boil and simmer 
    until the water has 
    evaporated. Continue 
    to cook until the onions 
    have turned a golden 
    brown. Keep your eye 
    on it and make sure to 
    move the onions 
    around. Set the onions aside with the mushrooms and add the remaining 
    wine from the bottle and deglaze any browned bits stuck on the pan. 
    Season with salt and pepper and reduce the liquid until it is thick enough 
    and coats the back of a spoon. 

7. To complete the dish, Add the mushrooms, onions and most of the fried 

    lardons back into the pot. Add the red wine reduction with 2 tbsp of 
    butter and mix well. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Check for flavor and 
    garnish with freshly chopped parsley and the remaining lardon bits.

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