Coq au Vin
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus marinating
Chicken in red wine. Traditionally this would use a cock (rooster) and cook for several hours (as the coq would tend to be a tough old bird - but full of flavor). Without the skin the flavors get deeper into the meat and we eliminate a lot of the fat. Use a full-bodied Burgundy or Cote de Rhone (or equivalent) for this. Not expensive, but drinkable. Do not use 'cooking wine'. The secret to this dish is the cocoa - it gives an amazing richness and depth of flavor.
- 4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- OR 1 whole chicken, cut up
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 bouquet garni - or 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1 bottle (.75L) red wine
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3 slices bacon, 100gr, 3.5oz
- 4oz mushrooms, 125gr, 4oz
- 6 - 8 shallots (the recipe calls for pearl onions but I normally have to buy a huge bag to get the few I want, so I often use shallots.. Plus I like the taste better)
- 1 chicken stock cube or 1 tsp granular or paste chicken base, optional
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbs pure cocoa not a 'hot chocolate' mix
- 2 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs water (you may not use it all)
- To marinate:
- Roughly chop the onion and carrot.
- Smash the garlic lightly.
- Put the chicken, onion, carrot, garlic and bouquet garni in a deep bowl.
- Pour the wine over and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To cook the chicken:
- Remove chicken from marinade and drain well (over marinade).
- Reserve marinade.
- Heat oil in heavy, deep pot over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on all sides, a few pieces at time, about 10 minutes.
- Return all chicken to pan and pour over reserved marinade and vegetables.
- Add nutmeg and chicken base (if using).
- Cover, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for an hour.
- To cook the vegetables:
- Clean mushrooms and shallots, leaving shallots and small mushrooms whole; slice large mushrooms in half.
- In nonstick skillet sauté bacon until crisp.
- Remove and crumble (don't eat!)
- Add shallots to pan with 2 tbs water, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Uncover and cook off liquid.
- Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté over medium heat until both are nicely browned on all sides about 15 minutes.
- When done, cover until time to add to chicken.
- To finish:
- Remove chicken from pan and cover to keep warm.
- Strain sauce, discarding solids.
- Return sauce to pan removing 1/2 cup. Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat.
- Put cocoa into a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup reserved sauce.
- Slowly whisk cocoa mixture into simmering sauce. Continue whisking until it returns to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to reduce slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch in water. Use to thicken sauce to desired consistency if needed. (The cocoa will thicken it slightly.)
I used about half - the sauce is supposed to be a bit thick but not gluey.
- Return chicken to pan along with mushrooms, shallots and bacon. Allow to heat through over low heat, 10 - 15 minutes.
- Arrange chicken, mushrooms and shallots on a small platter. Spoon some sauce over and serve the rest on the side.