Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coq Au Vin

French for "chicken in wine," this rustic dish is one of my favorites to make because you get to light things on fire. I paired this with mashed potatoes and a salad of fennel, tomatoes and goat cheese (and a bottle of Pinot Noir). I saw Casey Thompson make Coq Au Vin on Season 3 of Top Chef and wanted to learn how to make it. This recipe is adapted from Williams Sonoma: French.

4 slices of bacon, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup flour
salt and fresh pepper to taste
4 - 6 Assorted cuts of chicken- on the bone with skin
olive oil

1/3 cup brandy

1/2 bottle full-bodied red wine
1 small can tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 box mini portobello mushrooms (or cremini mushrooms)
1/2 bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 T finely chopped Italian parsley

In a large stock pot, cook bacon for 4-5 minutes or until crisp.

Put flour in a large zip bag and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to bag and shake until well-coated. Shake excess flour off of chicken and cook on each side in olive oil in frying pan for 7 minutes.

Put chicken pieces into stock pot and add brandy. Let brandy heat for 30 seconds, turn off heat, and then light on fire with a long kitchen torch. (do this promptly or you could end up with an unexpected fireball in your face) After alcohol burns off, add wine, tomato paste and garlic. Cover and cook chicken over medium-low heat for 50 minutes, turning once.

When chicken is almost done, cook mushrooms and onions in a small fry pan with olive oil and seasoning for 5 - 7 minutes or until tender.

To plate, put down chicken and top with extra sauce. Top with mushrooms and onions and finish with parsley. Serve at once.

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