We've made Coq au Vin before but have used Jacques Pepin's recipe which we liked quite a bit. I have to say we didn't care for this version as much. It may have just been that it was the warmest day of the year so far here in Minneapolis & this is really much more of a curl up in front of the fire winter dish. That said, I think we will make this again with perhaps a few tweaks but probably in the middle of January.
Now, I love Anthony Bourdain but I felt like this recipe could have been written a little better. Some parts just seemed a little vague to me, for example, when you return the vegetables to the pot are you supposed to somehow strain out the peppercorns? Or when you are slow cooking the chicken should the pot be covered or not? (We went for covered which is what Joy of Cooking does but then ended up with a really thin sauce) If we make this again I'll cut the chicken into pieces instead of cooking it whole, I think it would fit in the wine better for cooking & easier to brown at the beginning.
Coq au Vin
from the Les Halles Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain, Serves 4
1 bottle/1 liter plus 1 cup/225 ml of red wine
1 onion, cut into a 1-inch/2.5 cm dice
1 carrot, cut into ¼-inch/6-mm slices
1 celery rib, cut into ½ inch/1-cm slices
4 whole cloves
1 tbs/14 g whole black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (we used thyme, Italian parsley & a bay leaf)
1 whole chicken, about 3.5 lb/1.35 kg, “trimmed” – meaning guts, wing tips and neckbone removed (we couldn't find an older chicken which would have been best for this unfortunately)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbs/28 ml olive oil
6 tbs/75 g butter, softened
1 tbs/14 g flour
¼ lb/112 g lardons (we just used some thick cut bacon)
½ lb/ 225 g small, white button mushrooms, stems removed
12 pearl onions, peeled
pinch of sugar
3 large, deep bowls
large Dutch oven or heavy –bottomed pot
small sauté pan
small sauce pan
1 sheet parchment paper
deep serving platter
The day before you even begin to cook, combine the bottle of red wine, the diced onion (that’s the big onion, not the pearl onions), sliced carrots, celery, cloves, peppercorns, and bouquet garni in a large deep bowl.
Add the chicken and submerge it in the liquid so that all of it is covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry.
Put it aside. Strain the marinade through the fine strainer, reserving the liquids and solids separately. Season the chicken with salt and pepper inside and out. In the large Dutch oven, heat the oil and 2tablesppoons/28 g of the butter until almost smoking, and then sear the chicken, turning it with the tongs to evenly brown it. Once browned, it should be removed from the pot and set it aside again. Add the reserved onions, celery, and carrot to the pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden brown. That should take about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix well with the wooden spoon so that the vegetables are coated. Now stir in the reserved strained marinade. Put the chicken back in the pot, along with the bouquet garni. Cook this for about 1 hour and 15 minutes over low heat.
Have a drink. You’re almost there…
While your chicken stews slowly in the pot, cook the bacon lardons in the small sauté pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain it on paper towels, making sure to keep about 1 tablespoon/14 g of fat in the pan. Saute the mushroom tops in the bacon fat until golden brown. Set them aside.
Now, in the small saucepan, combine the pearl onions, the pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 2tablespoons/28 g of butter. Add just enough water to just cover the onions; then cover the pan with the parchment paper trimmed to the same size of the pan. (I suppose you can use foil if you must.) Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated. (I used the lid but left it ajar but had the hardest time getting the water to evaporate, I ended up dumping a bunch out.) Keep a close eye on it. Remove the paper cover and continue to cook until the onions are golden brown. Set the onions aside and add the remaining cup/225 ml of red wine along with salt and pepper and reduce over medium-high heat until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Your work is pretty much done here. One more thing and then it’s wine and kudos…
When the chicken is cooked through (This was hard to judge in a red sauce so we used a thermometer to check) – meaning tender, the juice from the thigh running clear when pricked – carefully remove from the liquid, cut into quarters, and arrange on the deep serving platter. Strain the cooking liquid (again) into the reduced red wine. Now just add the bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons/28 g of butter. Now pour that sauce over the chicken and dazzle your friends with your brilliance. Serve with buttered noodles and a Bourgone Rouge. (We just served it with some crust garlic bread)
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© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski