Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You Can Coq au Vin

I recently made coq au vin for family and it's such a nice dish I wanted to share it with you. Coq au vin is French comfort food; it means chicken and wine and ooh la la it's good! The original recipe has lots of fat and since I wanted to make it hip and thigh friendly I have modified it so that it's delicious and pretty guilt free. It really helps to have excellent nonstick cookware (I prefer Swiss Diamond). Removing all skin and fat from the chicken is a must, and I really cut back on the bacon. To further save on calories I increased the chicken broth to red wine ratio. It will still be divine. Serve with mashed potatoes and you will be in heaven.

Coq au Vin
Serves 4 what I consider generous portions
Prep time about an hour. Bake about an hour.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 ounce good bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
1 carrot, cut into medium dice
12 frozen pearl onions
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 whole chicken legs (legs and thighs attached), skin and fat removed
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups budget hearty red wine, like Livingston, Gallo, Inglenook. I prefer cabernet sauvignon.
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stripped off the stems
12 cremini mushrooms, halved (I like the flavor better than white buttons)

In your excellent nonstick saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is moderately brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and cook the carrots and onions in the bacon fat until onions start to brown. It could take 5 or more minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and put in a bowl.

Preheat your oven to 325°; meanwhile salt and pepper your chicken and brown it on all sides in your excellent nonstick pan with the olive oil. Remove chicken and place in a baking pan. Put the vegetables and bacon back in the saute pan and add the flour. Cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Add the red wine, chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then pour everything over the chicken and cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is really tender.

Put chicken quarters on a platter and cover with foil. Reduce sauce over medium heat, if you wish, until it thickens up a bit. (You probably won't need to degrease the sauce.) Spoon sauce and vegetables over chicken and serve. Put some sauce in a gravy boat for your mashed potatoes if you wish - it will be swoonworthy. Bon Appetit!

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