I'm in love with my new cookbooks of Barefoot Contessa (Paris, Back to Basics, & Home), The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Good Eats & Pastry Queen Parties. It's a wealth of new recipes and lots of good reading material for me to start off the new year, too. My big ole binder of internet printed recipes was getting rather large, so it was nice to have the actual recipes in a book. I first saw this recipe prepared on episode of Barefoot Contessa, Ina prepared a special dinner for their anniversary. I'm always on the lookout for "special dinners" for Eric & myself. Coq au Vin is a classic french dish cooked in wine. The only part of the recipe that I was kinda scared was when I had to flambe the cognac. I hummed the Busta Rhymes song "Pass the Courvoisier" and lit my chicken on fire! Usually I don't attempt the pyro-technics at cooking but this was easy and fun for me to try for myself. This dish was truly wonderful, full of earthy flavors, and the wine brings a rich and hearty kick to it. Make sure you use a good burgundy wine, it really does add so much flavor. Although my chicken came out slightly purple it was full of flavor. Enjoy!
Coq au Vin
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Back to the Basics
4 ounces pancetta, diced
3 lbs chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac
1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound frozen pearl onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the pancetta to a plate with a slotted spoon.
3. Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
4. Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
5. Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.
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Review: Hubby loved this chicken dish because it was full of flavor and the chicken was really juicy. This paired nicely with garlic mashed potatoes & a simple salad.