Coq au Vin

So for photography, I was required to create 15 photos that tell a story. Well I made dinner, and thought that it had a pretty fantastic ending. Luckily I documented every bit of it to tell the story, and here you have it Coq au Vin.

So Coq au Vin is chicken braised in red wine with pearl onions, mushrooms, and lardons (bacon). It’s a good idea to prepare rice and serve the chicken over it. Also, if you have a enameled pot I highly recommend using it for this recipe.

Coq au Vin – Serves 4
8 ounce bacon slab, cut into lardons (1/4inch thick/1 inch long)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 lbs whole chicken, cut up, plus extra legs if need be
1/4 cup cognac
1 bottle Chianti
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
2 bay leaves
40 pearl onions
1/4 cup dry vermouth (optional)
1 lb bella (crimini) mushrooms, cut in half or 1/4 if large
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In your enameled pot, combine lardons and 2 cups of water, bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes, and drain. Meanwhile season chicken with salt and pepper, and set aside. Place enameled pot back over heat, and melt 2 tablespoons butter, add the bacon and cook until lightly browned. Remove the bacon and set aside.

With the heat still on the pot, place seasoned chicken in the bottom of pot and cook until browned all over, turning chicken a few times, about 10 minutes. Add the bacon. Stand back! Add cognac and ignite with a long match. I hope you didn’t lose your eyebrows! Let the flames go down, and shake the pot a bit for a few seconds to help it die out.

Pour the wine over the chicken and bacon, add 2 1/2 cups chicken stock. Your chicken should be covered, if not, just add water. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs, add half the mushrooms. Bring to a simmer, and cover. Continue to simmer for an hour. The chicken will be perfectly cooked and the flavors with have had time to become very good friends. Meanwhile prepare pearl onions and remaining mushrooms.

To peel the pearl onions, blanch them and place in an ice bath. To blanch, bring water to a rumbling boil, add pearl onions for about a minute, and remove to ice bath. With a sharp knife, cut the root and peel towards the tip of the onion. Place the peeled pearl onions in a saute pan, add 1/4 cup vermouth and 1/4 cup chicken stock, bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is cooked down. Turn off the heat and about 10 minutes before the chicken is done add the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken stock to the onions and bring to a simmer, cook until onions are glazed.

To cook the mushrooms, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat, saute onions until lightly browned, add 1/4 cup chicken stock and bring to a simmer, cook until liquid is cooked down. Turn off the heat and about 10 minutes before the chicken is done add the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken stock to the mushrooms and bring to a simmer, cook until mushrooms are glazed.

Once the chicken is done, remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Bring the sauce to a boil. With the flour and butter you will create a beurre manie, you do this by smashing the flour into the butter until you have a smooth paste. Once the sauce has reduced a bit, whisk in the beurre manie, and simmer sauce until it leaves a thick coat on the back of a wooden spoon, about a minute or two.

Add the chicken to the sauce, and cooked for a minute or two to rewarm. Arrange the chicken on a large dish, and garnish with pearl onions and mushrooms around. Top chicken generously with sauce, and if there’s extra sauce remaining, serve on the side in a warmed gravy boat.

Bon Appetit!

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