Monday, August 5, 2013

Frenchie Food Files: Coq au Vin

Ok guys, you might as well start calling me Julia Child, because I made some darn good coq au vin! Inspired by my mother and the purchase of chicken thighs, I whipped up the French dish and am here to say that it was absolutely amazing. Best of all, it's not very difficult or time consuming to make, but has all the elevated flavors and plate appeal to make it perfect for your next dinner party. I used a recipe from Cook's Illustrated which adapted the classic dish to modernize it. The recipe gets it down to about an hour, most of which is cooking time (also known as wine drinking time). This is a meal that I'll make again and again and I hope you give it a try!

Coq au Vin, adapted from Cook's Illustrated:
(Recipe serves 4 to 6)

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon red wine (I used a pinot noir)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
10 sprigs fresh parsley plus 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut in half lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 cups frozen pearl onions
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered with stems removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch

In a large pan over medium heat, combine 2 cups red wine, chicken broth, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced by 1/3. Discard herbs and set aside wine-broth mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil your Dutch oven over medium heat. Lightly season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add half the chicken to the Dutch oven. Cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the chicken.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in your Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add pearl onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds (this will smell incredible). Add tomato paste and flour or corn starch and cook, stirring frequently, until combined, about 1 minute.

Add wine-broth mixture, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cooked chicken. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Transfer chicken to a large bowl (try not to eat it all). Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until sauce is thickened and measures about 3 1/2 cups. Remove from heat, stir in reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return chicken to pot. Top with minced parsley and devour immediately. This can be served over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. I made mine with brown rice and sauteed spinach.

*I've been drinking lots of rosé this summer, especially from the South of France. This meal pairs amazingly with a cold glass of dry rosé. A few of my favorite labels: La Vielle Ferme, Menage a Trois, Chateau Guiot. 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I love cooking with chicken thighs - I find them to be SO flavorful! - but I needed a new recipe :)


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