Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coq Au Vin Blanc

Coq au vin - chicken with wine - is a traditional French country dish, in which a whole chicken is cut into 8 pieces, marinated in a Burgundy wine, and slowly cooked in bacon fat and vegetables and then accompanied with pearl onions & mushrooms.

Well, I had boneless skinless chicken breasts to get rid of...not a whole chicken. So I have already offended Julia Child immediately. To piss her off even more, I used white wine and I didn't marinate my chicken in it, I just added it to my sauce. I'm not sure that I care too much that she's rolling over in her grave, because my version of the French classic turned out to be delectable. I based this off a recipe by Virginia Willis (Bon Appetit, Y'all), and used the aforementioned variations.  Virginia Willis, by the way, does say that it is perfectly acceptable to use chicken take that JC.

This is a looooooooong recipe. Which is why I chose to make it on a Sunday. It took me about 3 hours to prepare.

Coq Au Vin Blanc (por deux)     
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
6 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 crushed clove of garlic, plus 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups white wine
bouquet garni (3 sprigs of thyme, 2 springs of parsley, 1 bay leaf)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 button mushrooms, quartered
12 pearl onions, trimmed and peeled
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup white wine
salt & pepper to taste

1. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Set aside.
2. Add bacon to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate (important note: you will need the bacon later. In other words - NO BACON SNACKS! It's possible that not all of the bacon made it back into my sauce when I made this recipe. oops!!!)
3. Add chicken breasts to bacon grease and cook until golden, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add onion, carrot, celery, and crushed garlic to the pan and cook until vegetables start to brown, about 7-8 minutes.
5. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute, and then added the 1/4 cup flour.
6. Stir the mixture constantly until flour begins to brown. Return the chicken to the pan, and cover with chicken broth and 2 cups of white wine.
7. Cover and reduce hit to simmer. Cook for one hour.
8. To cook the mushrooms and pearl onions, heat oil in a skillet and add the tablespoon of butter. Add mushrooms and onions to skillet, cooking until tender, about 10 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, and 1/4 cup white wine to deglaze the plan. Add the bacon (if you haven't eaten it all). Cover to keep warm.
9. After an hour has passed, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Ladel the vegetables and broth into a blender or food processor and puree. The sauce should thicken considerably. Return to pan, and cook about 10 minutes over medium high heat. Add the bacon, mushroom, and onion mixture. Return the chicken to the pan and cook for about 10 more minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Serve immediately.

Told you it was long...this ain't 30 Minute Meals.
This is definitely a recipe I'll keep in my back pocket. Yes, it takes a bit of effort and time, but I felt so accomplished once it was done. It's so hearty and filling,'d make a great Crock Pot meal and is definitely comfort food to a T.

Bon Appetit!

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