Thursday, June 08, 2006

COQ A VIN-A fancy way of saying chicken cooked in wine!

I signed up for Cook's Illustraded to test recipes and the below coq a vin was the 1st! I have made this before using an Alton Brown version from his show cukoo for coq a vin.

Next time i make this, i will make the sauce a lot thicker, the sauce is the dfinitive part of this and i think pouring it over rice or a starchy noodle (or maybe a bread) will help one enjoy this better!!

Since finding boneless thighs is difficult and expensive to by boned thighs and deboning i used 2.5lbs of chicken breast!

The flavors were well blended, but the juice was more flavorfull, thats why there should be something added like a bread or rice that will absorb the juice.

Coq au Vin
Serves 4 to 6

Avoid bold, heavily oaked red wine varietals like Cabernet and light-bodied wines like Beaujolais. Serve the stew with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

If you cannot find frozen pearl onion, substitute the same amount of peeled fresh pearl onions.

1 (750 ml) bottle medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, or light Rhone Valley wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
10 sprigs fresh parsley plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 ounces bacon, preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Table salt
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 frozen pearl onions (evenly sized), thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup, or 5 ounces) 8 ounces white button mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. In large saucepan, simmer wine, broth, 10 sprigs parsley, thyme, and bay over medium-high heat until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Remove and discard herbs.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned and fat has rendered, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.

3. Fold chicken thighs in half and season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat remaining tablespoon bacon fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown thighs in single layer (thighs should remain folded in half to prevent overcooking) until just golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large plate.

4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When butter is melted, stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

5. Add chicken thighs, reserved cooked bacon, reduced wine/broth mixture, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; scrape bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

6. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce until it is thick, glossy, and measures 3 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

**If frozen pearl onions are not available, you may substitute fresh pearl onions instead. Do not use jarred pearl onions, which quickly turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce. To use fresh pearl onions, trim the root and stem end of each pearl onion and discard. Boil for 1 minute, shock in ice water, then peel a thin strip from root to stem. Remove any remaining outer skin—like peeling off a jacket.


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