So, I just finished watching Julie and Julia, and can I just say – Nora Ephron? genius! I think that Amy Adams is adorable, and Meryl Streep was quintessentially Julia in all of her mannerisms. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and now you’ll have to excuse me as I proceed to gain 15 pounds traipsing merrily through the land of butter and cream that is French cooking.
There are actually three recipes for Coq au Vin in this encyclopedic volume. The first is listed as an “old” recipe, the second is a “country” version, and the third I can’t remember off the top of my head, but included a woman’s name. I combined the first two for my version.
Instead of cooking a whole chicken, I chose to use all thighs, since dark meat has so much more flavor than white. Plus, it’s more chicken for less money, which is always better. And, I couldn’t find pearl onions, so I used quartered white onions instead.
I started by rendering some bacon in a heavy enameled cast-iron dutch oven, and then I added the onions and let them soften and brown a bit.
Then I removed the bacon and onions and added six chicken thighs to the pot, skin down.
I let these brown on the skin side, then turned them to brown slightly on the other side.
Then I removed them from the pot and poured off most of the fat.
I added the mushrooms to the pot and let them brown before adding salt and pepper, which draws out some of the liquid and works to deglaze the pan drippings.
To this I added the chicken, bacon and onions that were set aside earlier, along with some carrots and a bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, parsley).
After two hours had passed, I removed the chicken and most of the veg from the cooking liquid. I made a beurre manie and worked this into the liquid slowly, whisking to incorporate.
I served it over egg noodles with a rustic french loaf on the side.
Coq au Vin
6 chicken thighs
3 medium white onions, quartered
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 bottle red wine
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1. render bacon
2. add onions, cook until softened and slightly brown
3. remove onions and bacon, add chicken skin side down. cook until brown and most of fat has rendered out. turn over and brown slightly on other side.
4. remove chicken and pour off most of fat.
5. add mushrooms and cook until they brown. add salt a pepper, allowing mushrooms to release some of their liquid, deglazing pan.
6. return onions, bacon and chicken to pan, along with bouquet garni (herbs wrapped in cheesecloth or coffee filter and tied together) and carrotts.
7. pour entire bottle of wine over ingredients and bring to a simmer. allow to simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
8. combine softened butter and flour in small bowl and knead with fingers until a paste is formed (beurre manie).
9, remove chicken and vegetables from cooking liquid and set aside. drop pea-sided bits of beurre manie into liquid, whisking to incorporate. as the liquid comes to a boil, it will thicken.
10. add chicken and veg back to thickened sauce. serve over egg noodles.