Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Easy Coq au vin (chicken stewed in wine)

Coq au vin is literally rooster (cock) cooked in wine.  Its a classic French peasant dish that is oh so very tasty.  Of course when you use an old rooster, its all tough as it is an old bird.  My version is using regular store bought chicken parts that are generally from young birds.  The meat is infinitely more tender and as such doesn't need to soak in wine forever to marinate and break down the meat.

Of course I cheat even more by buying already whacked chicken parts at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets.  I use both the chicken thigh and chicken breast.  Both bring different flavors to the dish more like you'd get with a whole chicken.  Also its damn easy which is a good thing in my book.

This version also is heavily influenced by Janna who asked about cooking with flavored salts on another post.  Yes, indeedy, I used my sel gris aux herbes in the marinade and did not regret it one bit.  Yowsa- its some good stuff there Maynard.

Easy Coq Au Vin

  • 1 2 lb package chicken breasts
  • 1 2 lb package de-boned chicken thighs
  • 2 c red wine (I used a shirah/cab blend from Callaway Crossing)
  • 2 t fresh cracked black pepper.
  • 2 t sel gris aux herbes (substitute herbs Provence and sea salt)
  • 2 T fresh garlic - chopped
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion halved then sliced
  • 1 stalk celery with tops (approx 1c chopped)
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 t +/- sel gris aux herbes to taste
  • 1 t fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 -2 14oz cans chicken broth

  • 8 oz cremini or similar small dark mushroom - halved
  • 1/2 c fresh chopped parsley

In large non-reactive bowl place one layer of chicken some of the sel gris, garlic and a couple of sprigs of thyme.  Repeat until all chicken is in the bowl.  Add the wine it should just cover the chicken.  Cover bowl with cling film and set in refrigerator to marinade at least 2 hours.

Pull chicken from marinade and pat dry on paper towels.  RESERVE MARINADE. 

Heat saucier over medium high heat.  Add extra virgin olive oil and heat til shimmering.   Dredge dried chicken pieces in the flour, knocking off the excess and sear all sides until nice deep brown.  You will need to do in batches so as not to crowd the pan in order to get a good sear instead of steaming.  As each batch is seared put on a platter until you are ready for them.

Add the onion, carrot and celery with a bit more oil if needed.  Cook 5- 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan as you go.  When onion is translucent add the reserved broth.  Cook and scrape the bottom of the pan until all the browned bits are removed.   Cook about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.  

Add reserved chicken.  Add enough chicken broth to just cover the chicken.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer at least 1 hour.  Or you may cover and put in 325 oven to simmer 1 hour.  Add mushrooms and simmer 15 minutes longer until cooked through.

Remove lid and stir in parsley, cook 1 minute.  Serve in bowl with mashed potato or boiled potato on the side.  

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