Coq Au Vin

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Serves 4
Adpated from: Michael Ruhlmam
Originally from March 2013 on my old blog

Funny story, this recipe. I made it ahead of time and left it sitting on the stove top for a couple of hours because the recipe TOLD ME I COULD. Yeah, don’t do that. Basically, as it sat, it got uglier and uglier until, a few hours later, it was completely purple, dark, muddy, thick, and didn’t taste NEARLY as good as it did before. Lesson learned: serve it immediately after making it.

But, I did try it after it was fresh from the oven, and, oh my goodness, it was so good! It had this bitterness and complexity from the wine, and the vegetables were delicious, as was the bacon.

This is a simplified version of the traditional French Coq Au Vin.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 ounces bacon, (as thick as you can get it, or slab bacon if possible) cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 shallots, chopped finely
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place chicken legs on a large baking sheet/tray and roast for 20 minutes. Don’t worry, you’ll be cooking the chicken more after this; it  shouldn’t be fully cooked yet. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 F.

While the chicken is roasting, put the bacon, onion and garlic into a large oven proof frying pan or Dutch oven, or any other heavy-bottomed oven-proof pot (I suggest using a big cast iron pan). The cooking vessel should be large enough to fit the chicken legs snugly in one layer. Add 2 pinches of salt and enough water just to cover the bacon, onion and garlic. Cook over high heat until the water has cooked off, about 5 minutes (I needed more time). Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until the onion has begun to caramelize, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir to distribute it.

Nestle the roasted chicken legs into the onion mixture in one layer. Tuck the carrot into the pan, along with the shallots, bay leaves, and the mushrooms on top (it’s okay if the mushrooms don’t touch the bottom of the pan; they’ll cook down). Add the wine and honey and season with pepper. Add enough water top reach ¾ of the way up the chicken. Bring to a full simmer over high heat. Slide the pan, uncovered, into the oven.

Cook the chicken for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the chicken over, and stir the ingredients to ensure even cooking. Taste the sauce; add salt if it needs more. Cook until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven.

Preheat the broiler to high. Place the pan back into the oven and broil until the chicken skin is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and discard the carrot and bay leaves. Serve the chicken and sauce in bowls and garnish as desired.

I served this with cibatta bread (the recipe is also posted on my blog). You probably should sere this dish with a carb as it is more like a sauce/stew. You could serve it over some pasta or rice, or dunk some bread in it, as I did with the cibatta. Yum!

Happy dining!!

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