Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014 02Feb 26 - Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin *

(my tongue hurts from a parmesan bombardment)

Themes from various recipes

Decisions I'm making

Ingredients- common 
- Chicken: 2 boneless/skin-ON breasts, 2 whole legs (separated for easy browning)
- Bacon: 1 package cubetti pancetta
- Mushrooms: 1 package sliced crimini from TJs
- Wine: 2 cups left over pinot noir (castel rock), 1 cup left over jumilla (tarima)
- Chicken broth: 2-3 cups
- Onions: 1 package frozen pearl onions from United
- Herbs: sprigs of thyme, bay leaves

Ingredients- disputed
- Tomato paste- 1-1.5T
- Cognac: 1/3 cup (*woah, turned out this makes a large fire- was good to have mitt and pot top ready)
- Burre manie (1.5 T each b/f)

- water-render the pancetta, remove pancetta to plate, spoon 1-2 T fat into dutch oven
- cook the pearl onions in remaining fat (watch, it cooks slowly, but then will start scortching fast), added wine to near top of onions, let it reduce down all the way with a few sprigs of thyme and bay leaf
*next time I would do this much more slowly, didn't seem even done afterward, which is strange
- roasted mushrooms (coconut oil, s&p) in oven 20 min at 425-ish; put mushrooms in pan with cooked onions, covered to keep warm
- brown chicken in pancetta fat in dutch oven, after browning on both sides:
- add wine and broth to nearly cover chicken
* only used <2 cups of wine, would have used more if we had more; used extra broth
- add back pancetta
- add thyme, bay leaf, parsley, 2 crushed garlic cloves
- cook 25-35 minutes to cook chicken, remove chicken to pan with onions/mushrooms to keep warm
*next time I would cook for much longer using Alden Brown method (2 hrs at low temp in oven)
- reduce cooking liquid to ~2 cups
- strain liquid, add strained liquid back to pot
- add burre manie
- return chicken and onions/mushrooms to pot with sauce and warm through

Doing this again, I might start much earlier to use the longer low-temp oven braise method-- if I were to do that, I'd also add the extra aromatics (onion/shallot, carrot, celery) in the liquid


From the kitchen of Julia Child
Difficulty: Moderate
Cook Time: 30-60 min
Legendary chef Julia Child appeared on "Good Morning America" on May 11, 1995, with her Ragout of Chicken and Coq a Vin recipes.
Coq au Vin is chicken in red wine with small braised onions, mushrooms, and lardons of pork - an elaboration on the far more elementary preceding ragoutcoq au vininvolves more hand work since you have lardons of bacon to prepare for the special flavor they give to the sauce. Then there is the traditional garnish of small braised onions and sautéed mushrooms. This combination makes a wonderfully satisfying dish, and a fine one for company.


  • 1/2 cup lardons (4 ounces -- 1-by-1/4-inch strips of blanched slab bacon or salt pork - see Special Note below)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds frying chicken parts
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 tbs. olive oil (or good cooking oil)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 large cloves of garlic, pureed
  • 1 imported bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp or so thyme
  • 1 large ripe red unpeeled tomato, chopped, (or 1/3 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes)
  • 3 cups young red wine (Zinfandel, Macon or Chianti type)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or more)
  • Beurre manie, for the sauce (1 1/2 tbs. each flour softened butter blended to a paste)
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (or chopped parsley)
  • 1/3 cup good brandy (optional)
  • 12 to 16 small brown-braised white onions
  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms, trimmed, quartered and sautéed
  • Cooking Directions

    Browning and simmering the chicken. Before browning the chicken, sauté the blanched bacon or salt pork and remove to a side dish, leaving the fat in the pan. Brown the chicken in the pork fat, adding a little olive oil, if needed. Flame the chicken with the brandy, if you wish -- it does give its own special flavor, besides being fun to do. Then proceed to simmer the chicken in the wine, stock, tomatoes and seasoning as directed in the master recipe.
    Finishing the dish. Strain, degrease, and finish the sauce, also as described. Strew the braised onions and sautéed mushrooms over the chicken, baste with the sauce, and simmer a few minutes, basting, to rewarm the chicken and to blend flavors.
    Special note: To blanch bacon or salt pork: When you use bacon or salt pork in cooking, you want to remove its salt as well as its smoky flavor, which would permeate the rest of the food. To do so, you blanch it -- meaning, you drop it into a saucepan of cold water to cover it by 2 to 3 inches, bring it to the boil, and simmer 5 to 8 minutes; the drain, refresh in cold water, and pat dry in paper towels.

    Recipe courtesy of 



    Cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an "x" with your knife in its place. Bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 1 minute. Remove the onions from the pot, allow them to cool, and then peel. You should be able to slide the onions right out of their skin. Set aside.
    Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.
    Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium heat along with the salt pork. Cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the salt pork cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside.
    In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into a 7 to 8-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
    Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. Store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
    Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into theDutch oven along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    The next day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally.
    Once the chicken is done, remove it to a heatproof container, cover, and place it in the oven to keep warm. Strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you actually began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes.
    Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve. Serve over egg noodles, if desired.
    Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.

    SMITTEN KITCHEN | Coq Au Vin [Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms and Bacon]
    Mastering the Art of French Cooking

    Feeds 4 to 6 people

    A 3- to 4-ounce chunk of bacon
    A heavy, 10-inch, fireproof casserole
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 cup cognac
    3 cups young, full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Chianti
    1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock, brown stock or canned beef bouillon
    1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
    2 cloves mashed garlic
    1/4 teaspoon thyme
    1 bay leaf
    12 to 24 brown-braised onions (recipe follows)
    1/2 pound sautéed mushrooms (recipe follows)
    Salt and pepper
    3 tablespoons flour
    2 tablespoons softened butter
    Sprigs of fresh parsley
    1. Remove the rind of and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1 inch long). Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry. [Deb note: As noted, I'd totally skip this step next time.]
    2. Sauté the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned. Remove to a side dish.
    3. Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole.
    4. Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.
    5. Uncover, and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.
    6. Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock or bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.
    7. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms (recipe follows).
    8. Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
    9. Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste (buerre manie). Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
    10. Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce. If this dish is not to be served immediately, film the top of the sauce with stock or dot with small pieces of butter. Set aside uncovered. It can now wait indefinitely.
    11. Shortly before serving, bring to the simmer, basting the chicken with the sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is hot enough.
    12. Sever from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter. Decorate with spring for parsley.
    Oignons Glacés a Brun [Brown-braised Onions]
    Mastering the Art of French Cooking
    For 18 to 24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter:
    1 1/2 tablespoons butter
    1 1/2 tablespoons oil
    A 9- to 10-inch enameled skillet
    1/2 cup of brown stock, canned beef bouillon, dry white wine, red wine or water
    Salt and pepper to taste
    A medium herb bouquet: 3 parsley springs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth
    When the butter and oil are bubbling the skillet, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.
    Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the herb bouquet. Serve them as they are.
    Champignons Sautés Au Buerre [Sautéed Mushrooms]
    Mastering the Art of French Cooking
    A 10-inch enameled skillet
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon oil
    1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large
    1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions (optional)
    Salt and pepper
    Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating that it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their sauté the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.
    Toss the shallots or green onions with the mushrooms. Sauté over moderate heat for 2 minutes.
    Sautéed mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.

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