Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coq au Vin

I've been taking the amazing Pro 1 course at the New School of Cooking. There have been so many wonderful lessons and so many delicious recipes that this whole time I've been overwhelmed when thinking about what to post. I started writing this long post about the first class with everything I learned about stocks.. but it became too much and I gave up on it. I wish I had time to write posts like that. Alas, I decided to just start posting some of my favorite recipes from the class.

Coq au Vin
This dish was part the second of two classes on poultry. We've made a ton of delicious chicken over the past two weeks, but this one was one of my favorites. I made this dish last night and was really happy about it because I think it's a beautiful thing to learn how to make the classics. Coq au Vin literally means "rooster in wine". The sauce uses a lot of wine and actually turns the chicken a red color. The flavors are bold but they meld together very harmoniously. My teacher tells me this is a classic "braised" dish wherein the pieces of meat go through two steps.. first a browning and then a slow cooking in liquid. I think this dish is great for entertaining a large group because it is almost a one pot dish and much of it can be prepared ahead of time and then pulled together right before serving. Plus the name surely impresses : )

  • 6 oz pancetta or super thick cut bacon
  • One 3 to 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 pearl onions
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 cremini or button mushrooms, whole or halved.
  • as the pearl onions.
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 sprigs thyme (a sprig is a small bunch of branches, not one twig)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped tomato, no skin or seeds. Use the concasse method, or canned is ok.
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Prepare your mise en place so everything is ready to go. Slice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces so that the areas of meat are uniform. Most of the fat will cook off. To peal the pearl onions easily, drop them in boiling water for a few seconds, then remove. The onion should squeeze right out of the skin.
  2. Cook the bacon over medium heat in a straight-sided saute pan large enough to accommodate the chicken pieces. When most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, remove from the pan and set aside. Remove some of the small black bacon bits from the pan before adding the chicken.
  3. Brown the chicken in the fat on both sides. Start with the skin side down. The chicken is ready to turn when it doesn't stick! Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and saute until the onions are slightly browned and the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Remove the mushrooms if they are cooking faster than the onions. Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add the flour to make a roux. (Keep stirring everything).
  5. Stir in the wine, tomato, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir in the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and cover. Cook until tender, or until a meat thermometer reaches about 170. (About 30 minutes or so).
  6. Remove the chicken and onions from the pan. Set aside. Strain the liquid into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer/boil on medium-high to reduce by about a half inch. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter.
  7. Pour sauce over the chicken, onions, and mushrooms. Garnish with the bacon and parsley.

Serve with egg noodles, rice, or potatoes.

Variations/additions: We added a little sherry in addition to the wine. Julia Child also used to finish her sauce with a little raspberry jam.

Below is a photo of the dish.. I guess it didn't come out so great on the iPhone.


SinoSoul said...

I was just at Beacon this weekend and staring at the New School.

So less restaurant reviews and more recipes from now on, then?

Alexis said...

I just post whatever is happening with me food-wise. For quick restaurant reviews, I've been using Yelp. You can get to those reviews using the Yelp map to the right ----->

Alexis said...

BTW, not a big fan of Beacon.. that place is a real let-down.