Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Coq au Vin - Julia Child's of course

Here is another one of Julia Child's classic recipes.  This dish was easier to make than I had guessed.  It was also fun to experience my first flambe!  If you have never ignited alcohol in a dish before this is something you must try.

Coq au Vin translates to rooster with wine and in my opinion it is just divine!


[Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms, and Bacon]


3-4 ounces chunk lean bacon (ask your local butcher to cut this for you)
2 1/2 to 3 pounds frying chicken parts (I used two bone in skin on chicken breasts - free range)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup cognac (for the flambe)
3 cups young, full bodied red wine (Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Chianti)
1-2 cups brown chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic mashed
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
12-24 brown braised onions (recipe below)
1/2 lb. sauteed mushrooms (recipe below)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
sprigs of fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Remove the rind and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4 inch across and 1 inch long).  Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water.  Rinse in cold water. Dry.

In the dutch oven saute the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned.  Remove to a side dish.

Dry the chicken thoroughly.  Brown it in the hot fat in the dutch oven.

Season the chicken.  Return the bacon to the dutch oven with the chicken.  Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.

Uncover, and pour in the cognac.  (this is the fun part)  Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match.  Shake the dutch oven back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside. 

Pour the wine into the dutch oven.  Add just enough stock to cover the chicken.  Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is pricked with a fork.  Remove the chicken to a side dish.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the dutch oven for a minutes or two, skimming off fat.  Then raise heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups.  Correct seasoning.  Remove from heat, and discard bay leaf. 

Blend the 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour together into a smooth paste.  Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip.  Bring to a simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two.  The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

Arrange the chicken (I used a bowl) in the dutch oven, place the mushrooms and onions around it, and baste with the sauce.

Decorate with sprigs of parsley.


[Brown-braised Onions]


18-24 pearl onions (peeled)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup brown stock
salt and pepper to taste
herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in a cheesecloth


When the butter and oil are  bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible.  Be careful not to break their skins.  You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.
Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet.  Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.  Remove the herb bouquet. 


[Sauteed Mushrooms]


2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small or quartered if large


Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil.  As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms.  Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes.  During their saute the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat.  In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown.  As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.
Serve with a young, full bodied French red wine.

No comments:

Post a Comment