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Entries in Coq Au Vin Wine Braised Chicken (1)

Sunday
Oct092011

Coq Au Vin (Wine Braised Chicken)

This recipe is Julia Childs original list of ingredients, but adapted to my own braising method.   If you watched Julie and Julia, you understand how complex many of the recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking can be.  They don't need to.

I pretty much do all of my braises the same exact way, regardless of what the recipe says. The real secret to any braise is simple:  take time to carmelize your vegetables and use homemade stock.

Ingredients

4 ounces bacon, diced
2 Tbs unsalted butter
3 lbs chicken, cut up (your choice, all parts work great)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup cognac
3 cups young, full bodied red wine
2 cups chicken stock
½ can tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 large sweet onions, diced
½ lbs mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced thick
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs softened butter
Fresh Parsley

  • Season the chicken parts with salt and pepper.  In a large deep frying pan or large dutch oven, render the bacon until it is crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Brown the ckicken skin side down, making sure to keep plenty of room between the pieces so that they actually brown, not steam.  You don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through, it will finish cooking in the braising liquid.  Once the chicken parts are browned, remove them to the bowl.
  • Add 1 Tbs butter to the pan, and when it begins to sizzle, add the mushrooms.  Saute them until they color and release some of their liquid, then remove them from the pan to the bowl.
  • Add the other 1 Tbs butter and when it is sizzling, add the garlic and sauté for one minute.  
  • Add the onions.  When the onions begin to color, season with a little more salt and pepper and the thyme leaves.  Then allow the onions to completely carmelize until it gets almost to the jam stage.
  • Add the cognac and deglaze the pan.  
  • Add the stock, the wine, and the tomato paste and combine thoroughly in the pan.
  • Add the bacon, the mushrooms and the chicken back to the pan and simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken begins to pull away from the bones.
  • Remove the chicken from the sauce and when it is cool enough to handle, remove all of the meat from the bones.  This will prevent very small bones from falling into the sauce and choking your guests or your husband.
  • While the meat is cooling, combine the remaining soft butter with the flour in a small bowl and with your fingers or a fork, and mash it into a paste.
  • Whisk the paste into the sauce and allow it to come to a slow boil and thicken.  Return the meat to the sauce.
  • The dish can be prepared a day in advance up to this stage.  In fact, I usually plan it that way.  Refrigerate the entire pan once it cools down.  Overnight.
  • The next day, skim the fat from the top of the dish.  Heat the dish through and serve with a good French bagette, spread with unsalted butter and sea salt crystals.