Coq au vin or chicken with red wine

Jan. 22, 2013 @ 06:52 PM

“Julie and Julia”, the book and movie has sparked a renewed interest in French cooking.

Hooray! I’m a lover of sauces. All sauces and gravies. It appears the French are, too.

I’m talking about the homemade kind. Not the canned variety. Thick, yummy, tasty stuff poured on top makes a perfect addition to any dish.

My lovely friend, Elyse, wisely gave me a trip to Salud, the Whole Foods’ cooking school. Off I go on a Saturday morning to experience Chef Kay Taylor and pick up some true French culinary tips.  

My fascination with the menu centered on the coq au vin, chicken in wine recipe. It has an excellently seasoned wine liquid poured over the whole dish.

You can leave the juice as is or thickened to your heart’s content.

I have found over the years that there are as many versions of this as there are chefs in France. Chef Kay’s differed slightly from the one I have always used.

This is now my adopted recipe for coq au vin/chicken in red wine. It’s not as complicated as it first appears. The finished reward is totally worth

the effort.

Coq au vin or chicken in wineIngredients:

Whole cut up chicken

3 - 4 ounce chunk of salt pork to make lardons

2 tablespoons butter

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup of cognac

3 cups of a full bodied red wine

1-2 cups brown stock

1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste

2 mashed garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon of thyme and one bay leaf

onions and mushrooms-recipe follows

Instructions for chicken:

• I used about 4 ounces of salt pork (or streak of lean) to make my lardons. Blanche it and dry. I cut out rectangles about 1 inch long and 1/4 of inch wide. Sauté in 1 tablespoon of butter in a dutch oven. Put aside and drain on a paper towel.

• Wash, dry, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken 2 tablespoons (or more if needed) of butter with a splash of canola oil.

• Add the lardons (salt pork) back into the casserole.

• Uncover, pour 1/4 cup of cognac on top and light. Let the cognac burn off.

• Pour 3 cups of a full bodied red wine over the chicken.Add 1 to 2 cups of brown stock to cover.

• Put in 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste, several mashed garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of thyme and a bay leaf.

• Cook slowly until chicken is done. I let mine simmer so that the chicken easily falls off the bone.

Ingredients for onions and mushrooms:

• 18-24 small white onions, either pealed fresh or canned

• 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

• 2 - 4 tablespoons of butter

• 2- 3 tablespoons of canola oil

• 1/2 cup brown stock, canned beef bouillon

• salt/pepper to taste

• Herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth.

Instructions for onions and mushrooms:

• Heat up to 2 tablespoons of butter and 1- 2 tablespoonts of canola oil in a skillet. Add onions and brown

• Add liquid, season and add herb bouquet

• Cover and simmer for about 50 minutes

• For the mushrooms brown in 1-2 tablespoons of butter and the remaining canola oil.

• Sauté until lightly browned 6 - 8 minutes

Finished dish:

• Arrange the chicken on a platter if you wish to thicken the liquid, do so with 3 tablespoons of butter and flour, mixed to a paste, add slowly to the liquid until desired thickness. Otherwise leave in casserole, add onions minus the herb bouquet and mushrooms.

• Serve with parslied potatoes and French green beans ... and enjoy!