Although we have thoroughly welcomed Spring there is still snow on the ground and a chilly nip in the air. I'm not quite ready for poached salmon and meringues. We still need something substantial to warm us through. I've been meaning to make coq au vin for ages, it's a simple dish but because there are a few steps to it and it's not my usual "throw it all together in the pan and forget about it" I've put it off. Happily today after a rather busy stretch, I had a slower day, perfect for some tinkering in the kitchen.
It was a hit with the family, even my pickiest eater ate around the mushrooms but did actually consume the chicken, although she was slightly thrown by the pink hue of the meat due to the red wine.
I recently purchased a braiser - what a wonderful invention - from stove top to the oven all in one pan and the meat is as tender as can be! Happiness!
Coq au Vin.
5 rashers of bacon (trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch pieces)
1, 4lb chicken cut into pieces, skin on, bone in
salt and pepper
4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 pearl onions
1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks)
3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1/2 bottle of full bodied red wine (such as Merlot)
1 cup of chicken stock
1 packet of white button mushrooms
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
Heat the oven to 275 F
In a small pan heat approximately 2 cups of water, add the bacon, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and set the bacon aside.
At the same time in a larger pan, place the pearl onions, cover with water, bring to the boil, turn down toa simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.
Cut the root off the end of the onions and slip them out of their skins. Set aside.
In a large non stick oven proof pan, heat about 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter until almost foaming. Add the bacon and pearl onions, saute for about 5 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the onions are just a little golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the chopped onion, carrots and garlic to the pan, saute for about 8 minutes until softened and just turning golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken pieces. Add another couple of tablespoons of butter to the pan. Brown the chicken pieces in the hot butter until golden brown. Take your time with this, you will probably have to brown them in batches. Don't crowd the pan or they will steam instead of brown.
Return the chicken, bacon, onions, carrots and garlic to the pan.
Pour in the red wine and chicken stock. Sprinkle a few sprigs of thyme in the pan. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven. Allow to sit while you cook the mushrooms.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of butter in a saute pan, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until tender. Add to the chicken and combine.
In a small bowl, mash 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add a tablespoon of the wine sauce and thoroughly combine.
Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil.
Add the butter/cornstarch mixture back to the wine sauce, stir well and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens.
Place the chicken back into the pan and spoon the sauce over. Add a few extra sprigs of thyme. Serve in the pan with a baguette and salad on the side.