Saturday, December 20, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Coq Au Vin

Oh no - it is only my third or forth Barefoot Bloggers post and I have already missed a deadline. The post for Coq Au Vin was supposed to be done the 11th and it is already the 20th. I cooked this on the 12th but have not been able to pull myself together enough for the post until now. Am I the only one that is busy this time of year - I am guessing not. I have now got all my Christmas baking done and got our last Christmas purchase made today so I have a break for a couple of days. Good news is I have already completed the next recipe so I should manage that one on time.

I don't think you can really go wrong with Coq Au Vin. I have made a different version of this for Valentines dinner in the past. It has the good parts of a stew with the carrots and mushrooms and pearl onions cooked in flavorful liquid. The sauce is way better than a stew and I sop up every drop of it with my potatoes and bread. It has been a while since I made a Coq Au Vin so I can't really compare this recipe to it but I can say that this one was very good.

My wife decided that since I was making something semi-fancy that she should take the opportunity to invite someone over. I am not sure it would have been my #1 choice to invite our pastor over on the night I am making a recipe with 1/4 cup Cognac and a half bottle of red wine but that it what she did. I kept tasting it while it was cooking and let it cook until it didn't taste too strong of alcohol. The pastor was our new associate pastor who works mostly with the youth. The pastor and his wife have a daughter about the same age as our 17 month old son so it is fun seeing the two of them together.

The one comment I would make on the recipe is - where do you find these frozen onions? I have never seen frozen onions in the store. I did assume that these were supposed to be pearl onions so I got fresh pearl onions and used those instead and they turned out great. The recipe also said it served three so I threw in a few extra chicken thighs since we were having company and there was still plenty of sauce and veggies for all of the chicken.

Thanks to Bethany of this little piggy went to market... for choosing this months recipe.

Coq Au Vin
Serves 3

  • 4 ounces good bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8ths
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
  • 1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy
  • 1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  3. Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
  4. Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
  5. Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.

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