Voila...Coq Au Vin.
I'll say this up front about coq au vin. It took me just under 3 hours to make this. None of it was hard, really, all the steps are manageable (and I've never made coq au vin before). And granted I had 4 kids to wrangle at the same time. But this dish does require certain techniques...which are time consuming...making the sauce and skimming off the fat, browning the onions and then boiling them...and sauteing the mushrooms.
Explained much better than me by Deb of Smitten Kitchen, and Julia Child's
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.]
Oignons Glacés a Brun [Brown-braised Onions]
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 saute 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.
I used the last of the onions from the garden, so some of them are on the large side. Make sure you leave the root end intact, so the onions stay together during the cooking process. If you don't have cheesecloth, just add the herbs whole and remove them later...won't hurt a bit :-).
Champignons Sautés Au Buerre [Sautéed Mushrooms]
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.
My best eater Rebecca had sworn off mushrooms, but I got her to try one of them tonight...she LOVED it! She promptly told Joshua, "Hey Josh, guess what? I LIKE mushrooms now!"
Traditionally, coq au vin is served with buttered noodles and peas, so I made some and served them with the chicken. Just peas with a pat of butter, salt and pepper, and egg noodles tossed with a pat of butter, and a sprinkling of parsley for color.
Man...this was really good. The chicken was so tender, and the flavor from the onions and mushrooms...heavenly! It was even better with the rest of the chianti I used to simmer the chicken...and I sure needed that glass of wine after being in the kitchen all afternoon!
I loved making this...even though my kitchen was a mess afterwards, and I was stressed because the kids were getting hungry. We ate at our normal time, but I think it's because they smelled it all afternoon. Next time, I will make the onions and mushrooms in advance (they can be made the day before), so all I'd have to do is make the chicken come dinner time.
Thank you Julia Child, and Deb, for an awesome recipe!
God Bless your table tonight!