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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coq au Vin

This is an amazing recipe I got out of a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I thought it was intense the first time I made it, then I got used to the steps. Then I read a coq au vin recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook and it was over a page and a half and then I realized how good I had it with my BHG recipe. Here is the book:

And here is the much used recipe:

Let's get started! Now mine does vary a bit from the BHG version so keep that in mind, especially if you squint to read the recipe above and go "Wait a tick!"

Coq Au Vin
Serves 2-4

4 chicken leg quarters, skinned and divvied into drumsticks and thighs
1 large yellow onion
2 cups whole mushrooms, cut in half
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp marjoram
1 tbsp thyme
1 1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 - 12oz cooked pasta (egg noodles, penne, ziti, etc)
Parmesan, shredded, to taste

Ok, where the hell do I start. Ah, the chicken. So, I use leg quarters because they are bigger than just a package of thighs and/or drumsticks. To me that's worth the extra step of splitting them.

Heat your pot on medium and add your chicken pieces. It takes a bit of arranging to get each of the eight pieces to touch the bottom, as you can tell:

But as each piece browns up, you can sort of wedge other less fortunately located pieces down in there:

Just keep at it...

And before you know it, you've got it. I could have gotten a darker color, but time was of the essence; This recipe takes some time so if you have to cut corners, you do it.

All right, while this stuff was doing its browning magic, I went ahead and prepped my wet stuff and my veggie stuff. I sliced my carrots, chopped my parsley, cut my onion into big chunks, added my herbs and garlic and combined them:

So pretty! Then I added my wine and chicken broth, and topped them off with my bay leaves:

And then because I'm worth it, I prepare the following:

Yeeeaaaaaah, baby. Now if you remember, this was all done while the chicken browned. So it's ready for its veggie and wine friends! Blurry, sorry.

Add your wine! Not my wine. Mmmm.

Ooh, look the bay leaves!

Stir it up and get it to boil.

Now add your tomato paste:

Once it's boiling, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for forty minutes. Time's up! Let's check it out. Wow, look, there are chicken pieces here, that have just fallen right off the bone. I'd say that's perfection:

Okay, so now you gotta clear all that veggie stuff out of there, leaving the delicious winey broth behind:

Set those yummy veggies aside:

Soften your butter and whisk in the flour:

Stir it into the broth mix and cook until it's thick and bubbly, like so:

Perfection! Now plate up those cooked noodles. It's okay if they're room temperature, the sauce and chicken will heat it right up. Add some butter because come on, this is a French recipe, bow down and show butter some respect:

Top with chicken, veggies and don't you dare forget to spoon that sauce over all of it! Next, add some crumbled bacon:

Try your best not to just dump the entire stuff right into your mouth. Yeah, because it's piping hot but mostly because you still haven't added your cheese:

Delicious! Enjoy for a date night with leftovers (Todd made some righteous coq au vin sandwiches the next day for lunch), or have a couple of friends over for a nice winter feast.

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