Friday, February 3, 2012
Coq au Vin
Yes, it's me again. Took a little bit of a hiatus, didn't I? I'm telling you, life. Life does funny things. Keeps you busy. Keeps you sleepy. Doesn't necessarily keep you bloggin'. But thanks for sticking around...
Anyway, Coq au Vin. A classic French dish, but how in the hell do you pronounce it? I swear I was one of the only people in my Culinary lab to have even heard of it before. It almost was annoying having to repeat it over and over again after people asked what I was making. But regardless... it's "Coke (in a nasally kind of tone)-O-Van (again, nasally!)".
Now that we've gone over how to say it. What the heck is it?!
The literal translation is "Cock of the wine" (no giggling all of you immature folk, hehe) - but we can use our common sense and say it's "Chicken cooked in wine."
One of the biggest mistakes when making Coq au Vin is that people end up with "purple chicken." You don't want purple chicken. It's just not natural. So the best way to avoid purple chicken, you ask? Get a good coating on your chicken in the first place. And don't go overboard on the wine. If you want to go overboard on it, don't put it in the pot, put it in a glass and drink it. Deal? Okay, let's get to it!
1 whole chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
flour, as needed for dredging
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T unsalted butter
4 T Brandy
Bouquet garni (the following wrapped in a cheesecloth) made of:
4-inch carrot stick
4-inch leek, split in half
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 pieces of bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
18 pearl onions, peeled
10 button mushrooms, quartered
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge each piece of chicken, shaking off any excess. You want to get a good dredging because ideally, the flour that ends up on your chicken will ultimately be what thickens up your sauce throughout the cooking process.
In a large dutch oven heat the butter under medium high heat. Add the chicken, in batches, and cook until both sides are browned nicely. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
Add bacon pieces to dutch oven and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pot. Add the brandy and ignite. Cook until flame dies out.
Return chicken to pot and add bouquet garni, garlic, wine, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Or until chicken is tender and sauce is thickened.
About 20 minutes before ready to serve, add in pearl onions and mushrooms.
Season with salt and pepper.
We served this over some butter sauteed egg noodles and it was just the perfect pairing.
I know there hasn't been much of a winter (or at least in my part of the world), but this would be the perfect dish to curl up on the couch with and get warm. It's comfort in a bowl, I tell ya. The chicken is tender and falling off the bone. The sauce is rich, yet delicate.
Hope everyone is doing well, I know I am, albeit busy as hell! Have a great weekend guys!