Easy Coq au Vin
Coq au vin, or chicken braised in wine, is a classic French dish. Like other stews and braised dishes, coq au vin tastes even better the next day — after the sauce has had a chance to thicken and the chicken absorbs even more of the savory flavor.
Preparation time: About 25 minutes
Cooking time: About 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
1 whole chicken, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 strips thick-cut bacon
1 medium yellow onion
2 ribs celery
2 cups white mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 750-ml bottle full-bodied, fruity red wine (such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Cut the chicken into pieces.
Rinse the chicken parts under cold running water and pat dry.
Trim off any excess flaps of skin and fat.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
Put the flour in a shallow dish.
Dip each chicken piece into the dish to lightly flour the chicken.
Heat the oil and butter together in a heavy sauté pan that’s large enough to hold the chicken pieces in one layer.
If you don’t have a pan that large, you can cook the chicken in batches.
Place the chicken pieces in the pan and cook over medium-high heat until they’re a nice golden color on one side, about 5 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces over and continue cooking about 5 minutes more, or until golden.
Remove the chicken pieces to a large platter.
Cut the bacon into 1-inch strips.
Peel and chop the onion.
Trim and chop the celery.
Slice the mushrooms.
Add the bacon, onions, and celery to the pan and cook about 4 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
Add the mushrooms and cook about 3 minutes more, or until nicely browned, turning occasionally.
Return the chicken to the pan over medium heat.
Mince the garlic.
Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan.
Cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
Don’t brown the garlic.
Clean the carrots, remove their ends, and dice them.
Add the wine and carrots to the pan.
Raise the heat and bring to a boil.
Cover tightly, lower heat to medium, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
Transfer the entire mixture to a serving dish.
Discard the bay leaf.
If the sauce looks too watery to pour nicely over the chicken, turn up the heat to medium-high and stir until the sauce thickens just a little, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Taste and add the 1/2 teaspoon salt and season with pepper, if desired.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Per serving: Calories 807 (From fat 448); Fat 50g (Saturated 16g); Cholesterol 199mg; Sodium 597mg; Carbohydrate 35g (Dietary fiber 4g); Protein 51g.