Coq Au Vin
You can’t beat a good Coq Au Vin, especially during the winter months. It is my go to recipe when I want some delicious and crowd-pleasing dish to serve. Some of my toughest critics, my children, have been known to request it. You end with moist and tender chicken and an epic sauce. It is particularly nice to serve on top of wide egg noodles.
For 4 hungry souls you will need:
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ lb. fresh button mushrooms quartered
Salt and pepper
1 4 lb. chicken cut into serving pieces
¼ cup brandy or Cognac
2 cups hearty dry red wine such as Zinfandel
1 cup of chicken stock
2 teaspoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 oz. thick-sliced pancetta or bacon, fried and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ lb. egg noodles, cooked according to the package directions
Whole fresh thyme springs for garnish
In dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. In batches without crowding, lay your thighs, not your thighs but the chicken thighs and other pieces into the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes in total. Reduce the heat to low and return all the chicken to a large pot with a lid. Carefully pour the Cognac over the chicken. Using a long match, light the Cognac. Let burn until the flames subside. At this point, you’ll feel like Julia Child. Transfer to a platter.
Add the red wine, stock, tomato paste and thyme to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir to scrape up any browned bits for the pot bottom. Return the chicken to the pot and cover tightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken shows no sign of pink when the thickest parts are cut into, about 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add the cooked pancetta and reserved vegetables to a pot. Remove the chicken and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Remove the pot of cooking broth from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mash the butter and flour together to make a roux. Skim any fat from the surface of the broth. Return the pot to high heat and bring the broth to a boil. Whisk about ½ cup of the broth into the roux, and then pour it into pot. Reduce the heat to medium-slow and let simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the broth is thickened into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pot and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve the chicken and sauce over the noodles, garnished with thyme.
Then just tuck in and enjoy!