Jun 12
Im peeking in from the background!

Paris Bistro Cooking – Mission #1 – Coq au Vin

As I prepared dinner and plated it; I realized why I haven’t seen a lot of pictures of coq au vin in cookbooks; the entire dish turns the same shade of purple.  For what it’s worth, I promise it tasted much much better than it photographed.  As I mentioned in my last post, this particular recipe calls for marinating the chicken in wine with onion, carrots, garlic and bouquet garni (1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig parsley, 1 bay leaf and 1 celery rib) for 24 hours.  Then it simmers for almost 3 hours and in this case it rested in the refrigerator for an extra day.  The long marinating and slow cooking delivered very rich flavor.

I followed the recipe almost to the letter with a couple exceptions; I removed the chicken skin (I don’t care for skin unless it’s crispy) and dredged the chicken in flour before browning to help thicken the sauce and add a little flavor; I added mushrooms because I love them; and I replaced salt pork for pancetta – salt pork in the grocery store is much fattier than what is available in Europe.   Even though it requires a little planning (which is not my strength) I would absolutely use this recipe again.    The best part for me was the step that required the igniting of the cognac — BIG FUN.

Fire! Fire! Fire

Fire Fire Fire

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe adapted from Linda Dannenberg’s Paris Bistro Cooking:

1 4 – 5 pound chicken cut into 8 parts (skin removed)
8 Cups Dry Red Wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 large red onions quartered
3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic smashed but not minced
1 bouquet garni
1 cup seasoned flour for dredging chicken pieces
2 T olive oil
1 large piece pancetta (equal to one full slice of thick cut bacon)
1/2 Cup cognac
1 lb white button mushrooms cleaned
Salt and pepper to taste
2T cornstarch dissolved into 2T cold water

Place chicken, wine, vegetables, garlic and bouquet garni in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours

Remove chicken from the marinade (reserve marinade) pat dry and dredge through flour.  Brown in olive oil using a dutch oven on medium high heat.  Remove the vegetables from the marinade add them to the dutch oven (still reserving marinade) and add the salt pork.  Cover and warm through for 10 minutes.  Add the cognac and carefully light (seriously big “whoosh” be careful and watch your hair, I almost set mine on fire, but that’s another story for another time)

Once the flames subside, add the mushrooms, marinade, salt and pepper and simmer for 2 hours.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot, place in a casserole dish covered in foil to keep warm.

Degrease the broth, bring to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch.  Reduce until desired thickness (think gravy) add the chicken and vegetables and warm through.

We had this with red potatoes.  Linda recommended garlic croutons which would have been nice too.

Because it was my first foray into the French Bistro mission, we made an entire evening of it.  We started with a first course of Truffle mousse pate, Camembert cheese that I brought back from France and we opened a 2004 Turnbull Black Label we’d been holding onto for a while.  The combination made for a spectacualr meal.

4 Responses to “Coq au Vin (Chicken Braised in Wine)”

  1. Looks very delicious! I’m going to have to try the recipe this weekend.

  2. I hope you enjoy it, let me know. We are going on a little road trip this weekend so no therapy cooking for me 🙁 I can’t wait to try some of your recipes!

  3. […] tonight I’ll post about my latest foray into Paris Bistro Cooking, if the last meal (Coq au Vin) was a first class trip, this felt more like coach — wasn’t “bad”  just not […]

  4. I was looking for cooking related articles this was good

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