Thursday, December 11, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers....Coq Au Vin

I'm on a roll....TWD and BB both posted on their correct day this week!  Color me happy.

Today, Ina offered up a recipe for Coq Au Vin.....hoity, toity French food.  If you've ever had Beef Bourgogne, this is basically the same thing except with chicken.  I love both of them this time of year, so I was excited about making this.

I pretty much followed the recipe on this one...only a few modifications based on what was in the pantry.

It started off with cooking some bacon....which is ALWAYS a great way to start as far as I'm concerned.  I used applewood smoked since I love the flavor.

Remove the bacon from the pan and throw in the chicken to brown.  I used two whole legs and two whole breasts instead of chopping up a whole chicken.  Saute the chicken and remove from the pan.

Add the carrots and onions to the pan and brown.  Add the garlic and brandy and put the chicken and bacon back into the pan.  Add the wine, chicken stock and thyme.

Whatever is left from the bottle of wine, pour into a glass and consume.  (This may not actually be in the recipe, but it should.)

The only problem with doing that is you may forget to take any pictures of the finished product.  Trust me, it was pretty.  And tasty.  I'll be making this for Mr. B and then I'll be getting anything I want for Christmas....especially if I share the wine.

Here's the recipe:

Coq Au Vin
from Barefoot Contessa....Back to Basics

2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 ounces good bacon or pancetta, diced  (I used applewood smoked bacon)
1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken, cut in 8ths
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced (I only had a white onion, so white it was)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy (I had brandy.....hate Cognac)
1/2 bottle good dry red wine such as Burgundy  (love Burgundy, but what I have in the cellar was not going in this....didn't need the dish to be THAT good....used a great domestic Pinot)
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade (came out of a box)
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound frozen small whole onions (Fresh Market didn't have frozen, so I used fresh)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry.  Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper  When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about five minutes, turning to brown evenly.  Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done.  Set aside.

Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the brandy and put the bacon, chicken and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot.  Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer.  Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink.  Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.

Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew.  Add the frozen onions.  In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned.  Add to the stew.  Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.  Season to taste.  Serve hot.

If the wine hadn't compromised my photo taking skills, you would have known that I served this with roasted potatoes.  Since I'll be sucking up to my own personal Santa the next time I make this, I'll be serving it with either mashed potatoes or polenta.....leaning towards polenta, since it's Santa's favorite.

Another home run, Ina.

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