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Coq Au Vin -- Braised Chicken with Wine Sauce

A Great Winter Dish

Service for 4


4 ounces slab bacon
6 chicken legs
1/2 medium onion,coarsely cut
1 carrot , sliced coarsely cut
1 carrot sliced coarsely but reserved for latter garnish
1 celery stalk , sliced coarsely
8 garlic cloves whole
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked white peppercorns
1/2 pound pearl onions, trimmed and peeled
1 pound cremini mushrooms cleaned and trimmed tops
reserved cleaned mushroom bottoms
1 bottle dry red wine
1/2 bottle ruby port wine
3-4 T olive oil
2 T butter
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 pint unsalted veal stock
1/2 pint unsalted chicken stock
2 cups penne pasta
finely diced parsley and chives for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

DAY 1: Cut the bacon into 1/4 slices. Separate the chicken legs and thighs. Put the chicken pieces in a large container with the sliced onion, mushroom bottoms, 1 coarsely chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, 4 garlic cloves and a sachet of the thyme, bay leaf, coriander, and peppercorns and half the sliced bacon. Cover all the ingredients with the red wine and port and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

DAY 2: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Strain the wine from the chicken and other ingredients and reserve.

Reduce the wine in a large pot by half.

Pat the chicken very dry, season well, put 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven and sear the chicken skin side down till crisp. Turn the chicken and sear the other side. Note: Be sure not to crowd the pan. You will have to do this in two batches to insure the skin is properly seared and crisp. Remove the chicken, add the bacon. Cook till browned then add the diced vegetables from the marinade and cook, stirring occasionally on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring, for another few minutes making sure all the vegetables are properly coated..

Add the reduced wine, chicken, vegetables, and bacon to the Dutch oven with the veal and chicken stock. Add the sachet of herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover with a round of parchment paper that has a hole cut in the center to allow steam to be released. Then transfer the casserole to the oven. Cook for 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender at 325F.

Strain the chicken and vegetables from the sauce, discarding the sliced carrot, onion, and celery. Remove the bacon. If the sauce seems too thin, return just the sauce to the heat and reduce to desired consistency (it should coat the back of a spoon).

Prepare the remain garnish: par boil the peeled pearl onions and carrots for 5 minutes. sauté the remaining bacon with 1 T of olive oil. After crisp let the bacon rest on a rack with a paper towel. It will be later used as a garnish. Do not remove the bacon fat from the pan. In batches sauté the mushrooms tops, sliced carrots and pearl onions. Add these ingredients to the chicken pot and cover with parchment paper. Cook for 15-20 minutes more at 325 F.

Cook the penne pasta according to instructions. Add 1 T butter to a pan add the pasta and chives and parsley. Sauté slightly to incorporate all ingredients.

Note1 : Portabello stems cleaned and cut in half add great flavor and are excellent after braised in the wine sauce. Add in marinade step. This is a great dish also to add those dried shitake mushrooms left in the refrigerator.

Note 2: If time permits leave 1 day in refrigerator so fat can be easily skimmed off the top.

To Assemble and Serve:



Arrange the chicken, bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms, in a dish. Spoon the sauce over top and garnish with the penne pasta with chives and parsley.



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