Simple Coq au Vin

If you don’t know already, I’m a big fan of wine. And a recipe that calls for a whole bottle of red wine is  something that sings to me! That and a whole lotta mushrooms. While the directions for this dish look extensive, it was something I was able to put together on a week night with a little extra time and we were still able to sit down to eat before eight at night. I made just one change – I left all the vegetables in the sauce so that it was a little heartier. It came together in just over an hour, but would be wonderful to cook at a leisurely pace on a weekend. I think I might even be ready to try the original Julia Child recipe, although the part about igniting the cognac makes me nervous!

coq au vin

Simple Coq au Vin
via simple bites

3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
salt & fresh ground pepper
1/3 lb bacon, ideally slab bacon, diced
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 small onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, washed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bottle of red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed
fresh parsley, chopped
12 oz egg noodles

Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Season all over with salt and pepper.
In a large oven-proof skillet (I used a French Oven), cook diced bacon over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered and pieces are browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pot, and drain on a paper towel. Add chicken pieces to the pot and brown the skin in the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Add carrots, onions and celery to the pot, using a little olive oil as needed to cook the vegetables. Saute for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add a cup of wine to deglaze the pan and scrape the bottom to get all those flavorful bits up. Add the chicken pieces, remaining wine, stock, bay leaf, and thyme leaves to the vegetables. Stir to combine, then cover with a lid. Simmer gently over low heat for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone. Remove the pot from the heat and, using a sturdy pair of tongs, take out chicken pieces, bay leaf, and set aside once again. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes at a low boil until it is reduced by half. Meanwhile, cook the noodles as directed.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons soft butter and flour. Using a whisk, incorporate the paste, called a ‘Beurre manié’, into the sauce. Mix well until all the lumps are gone. Cook the sauce another five minutes, whisking occasionally, until it is glossy and coats the back of a spoon. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter, and add mushrooms. Stir for a minute, then add a few tablespoons of water. This helps the mushrooms to release their juices. Cook over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes until the liquid is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown.
Return chicken to the sauce in the pot, and adding bacon and sauteed mushrooms. Stir together and heat gently. Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

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