I had to giggle when I peeked at the photos of my latest entree. The sauce is so rich, so bright I thought it just might glow in the dark!
My primary goal in preparing dish after dish is, of course, producing glowing smiles and receiving glowing reviews. I came across this particular dish in Martha Stewart’s latest magazine (OCT 2007). I have been craving the opportunity to try something new, and this recipe appealed for two reasons. First, it had that restaurant quality appeal: meat-falling-off-the-bone served in a pool of hearty sauce, served with bread or potatoes to sop up all that fabulous sauce… And not that I needed a second reason to try this recipe, but I loved the idea that once it all landed in the pot, it went into the oven for an hour, while my feet found a stool for propping and my hand found a glass for swirling… and all the while the meal would be productively cooking in the oven.
Oh, and my family liked it too. I guess that is a third reason that makes this recipe worthwhile?
Coq Au Vin
(apparently, the ability to pronounce this recipe has nothing to do with ability to produce it—at least not in my kitchen!)
8 chicken thighs
2 cups red wine (I used Merlot, the recipe called for Cabernet)
8 oz. slab bacon, cut in 1/2 inch dice
3 T olive oil, if needed
1 medium onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
10 white pearl onions, peeled
1/2 pound small cremini mushrooms
3 T flour
1 T tomato paste
2 T cognac
1 chicken liver, minced
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme (small bundle, tied)
Place chicken and wine in ziploc bag in fridge; marinate 4 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 325; remove chicken, reserving wine. Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium low heat until crisp: 20 minutes. Remove bacon, leave drippings in pot. It should be about 3 T; add olive oil if needed. Raise heat to medium high. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken; add onion to pot and cook 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, cooking 2 minutes; add pearl onions and mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in flour and paste; cook 2 minutes. Add Cognac and cook 1 minute. Add bacon, chicken and wine back to pot. Add liver and herbs. Bring to simmer, cover and place in oven for 45-60 minutes. Discard herbs, skim off fat, serve.
Great idea: serve with smashed potatoes, big chunks of rustic bread and a robust red wine. Take note of glowing faces all around.