[Simple: we’re going to post a solid Sunday recipe every weekend, in hopes of helping you plan a fine meal. Soon, there’ll be photos too, but for now, the basic, classic recipes will have to hold you. For another Sunday chicken option, check this out at Kitchen Daily. Happy eating! – mb]
Coq au Vin
Makes 4 servings
Time: About 40 minutes
[Adapted from How to Cook Everything]
The French standard, very home-style, dark, rich, and lovely. If you use a typical chicken, it’s actually a pretty quick recipe to prepare; traditionally, the bird would be old and tough (if you’ve come across such a bird, cook it this way, but for a while longer). Use a decent but not necessarily expensive red wine.
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 pound good slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large onion, sliced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut up, with legs cut in 2; or use any combination of parts
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 cups Burgundy (pinot noir) or other fruity red wine
2 bay leaves
Several sprigs of thyme
Several sprigs of parsley
2 tablespoons butter
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water to cover while you proceed with the recipe. Put the bacon in a large, deep skillet that can accommodate the chicken and later be covered; turn the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon gives up its fat and becomes brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, button mushrooms, and chicken, skin-side down, and brown the chicken well, rotating and turning the pieces as necessary; the process will take about 10 minutes. About halfway through this period, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Pour or spoon off any excess fat and add the stock and the wine, along with the herbs. Adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently but steadily, and cover. Cook about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through; the bird is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155dgF to 165dgF. (If you like, you can remove the breast pieces, which will finish cooking first, and keep them warm, while the leg pieces remain.) Remove the chicken to a platter and keep warm.
3. Drain the porcini, add them, and turn the heat to high (if you like, strain the mushroom soaking liquid and add that, too). Boil until the mixture is reduced by about three-fourths and becomes fairly thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter, and return the chicken to the pan, just to reheat a bit and coat with the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then garnish and serve.