01 Dec 2008

Coq Au Vin

Special Equipment:
Butchers twine

Serves 8

8 chicken legs
1 medium onions, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 heads garlic, sliced in half
Sachet (8 sprigs thyme, 1 fresh bay leaf, 2 teaspoons coriander seed, 1 teaspoon cracked white pepper tied up in cheesecloth with butchers twine)
2 pounds small button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1 pound pearl onions
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into _ inch slices
1 bottle (750ml) dry red wine
1/2 bottle (375ml) ruby port wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups unsalted chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 cups unsalted veal stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. The Day Before: Separate the chicken legs and thighs. Place in a large container with the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and sachet. Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium high heat until just crispy. Wrap the bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms in separate cheesecloth bundles and tie with the butchers twine; add to the container with the chicken. Cover all ingredients with the red wine and port and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 325° Drain all ingredients from the wine and reserve. Reduce the wine in a large pot by half. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry, season well, and heat the olive oil over medium high heat in large dutch oven. Sear the chicken on all sides in one layer. Remove the chicken, add the sliced vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, on medium heat until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for another 4 minutes.

3. Add the reduced wine, chicken, mushroom, pearl onion and bacon bundles to the dutch oven with the veal and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, cover with a round of parchment paper and transfer to the oven. Cook for approximately 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.

4. Strain the chicken and vegetables from the sauce, discarding the sliced carrot, onion and celery. Remove the bacon, pearl onion and mushroom from their bundles. If the sauce seems too thin, return to the heat and reduce until desired consistency (it should coat the back of a spoon). Incorporate all ingredients back together and serve hot.

Note: This dish is great served with fresh pasta or rice. It can be kept, chilled, for up to 4 days.