Coq au Vin for Dinner

Monday was so glorious! A high near 80 degrees!! The decidedly un fall-like weather kept us outdoors nearly all day. After school, the kids spent the afternoon splashing around with the hose. Maybe winter will skip us this year?!

Despite the summer temperature, I prepared a fall dinner. I had planned the week’s menu before I looked at the weather report, and all the ingredients were ready to go.  Vivian and I prepped the meal in the morning, so once we came in from outdoors all I had to do was heat it up while the kids took showers.  They ate dinner in their PJs with the windows open!

Coq au vin sounds like a fancy French meal, but in reality it is a healthy one-pot dinner that is easy to prepare and easy to clean up.  Plus, this dish is a total family pleaser.  Everyone loves it – especially little Ben! He ate more chicken than his siblings, and he happily noshed on plenty of carrots and shallots, too.

We served this with some crusty bread (topped with loads of butter from grass-fed cows) and roasted green beans. A delicious dinner!

Coq au Vin (from an old Williams-Sonoma catalog)

1 bottle (750ml) Pinot Noir

5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus 2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1/2 leek (cut lengthwise)

6 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 1/4 lb. whole chicken legs (I use one whole chicken cut into 8 pieces)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb. small button mushrooms

3/4 lb. shallots, halved

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbs. tomato paste

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (I use a LOT of carrots, probably more like 1 1/2 lbs)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large saucepan over high heat, boil the wine until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Place the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf against the cut side of the halved leek and tie with kitchen twine. Set aside.

In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set the pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the garlic, tomato paste and flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the reduced wine and the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the bacon, chicken, mushroom mixture, carrots and bouquet garni. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until the chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Skim the fat off the sauce, set the pot over medium-high heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Discard the bouquet garni. Return the chicken to the pot. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Canal House Cooking, Vol. 2, by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton.

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2 Comments for this entry

  1. Kristin Troska says:

    wine allergies here; do you recommend a substitute?

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