Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Rustic Dinner: Coq au vin
Coq au vin
1 plump chicken, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 pound bacon, cut into thick cubes
12 small onions, peeled
2 sticks celery, chopped
12 baby carrots
butter for browning
2 tablespoons brandy
1 bottle good red wine (if you want to keep with tradition, use a Burgundian red)
1 cup chicken stock
bouquet garni (in our case: thyme, rosemary, basil, and tarragon)
2 star anise
3 tablespoons flour mixed with 2 tablespoons soft butter
1) In a dutch oven or large skillet, brown the chicken in some butter. Remove chicken from dutch oven once done.
2) Brown bacon and onions in butter.
3) Add celery and carrots until caramelized.
4) When bacon and onions are golden, return chicken to dutch oven, and liberally add salt and pepper.
5) Pour brandy over the chicken and let it cook off (you could flambe the chicken if you so wish, but my angelheart and I are too bollocky afraid of setting the kitchen on fire or burning ourselves that we have never been brave enough to attempt it).
6) Add the wine, chicken stock, bouquet garni, and star anise.
7) Cover the dutch oven and let simmer until chicken is tender (about 45 minutes).
8) Once chicken is tender, discard bouquet garni and put chicken into/on warm dishes.
9) Add flour and butter mixture to the sauce and stir it until it has dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
10) Pour sauce over chicken and serve.
This should make enough for six, but we were especially hungry on this chilly night that we had two pieces of chicken each. The bread was fluffy yet substantial, making for a delicious and edible utensil with which to soak up the incredibly rich flavors of the sauce. The star anise, paired with the tarragon, added a mellow sweetness to the rich dish, and it also worked well in tandem with the onion and parsley bread.
Next time I think we will replace some of the onions with fennel to add another layer of mild sweetness (incidentally, I love black licorice). Should you wish, add parsley to your bouqet garni and throw 12 or so small mushrooms into the dutch oven to brown with the onions (my angelheart kindly did not add mushrooms because of my aversion to them).
It was cold and howling a bit outside, and we ate by candlelight inside, further building on the notion that we were indeed spending a perfectly rustic evening (well, rustic for Carroll Park, Long Beach anyway!).
Jasmine - It is indeed the season for such meals, but here in Southern California the Autumn is very long and slow in coming. Just when we think it has settled in, the temperatures climb again. If only we were further North - say, Canada!
Freya - Thank you for your very kind comment regarding the blog. I have actually attempted the Quince Tart again, and I will post that soon because I do not think people eat enough quince when it is season. I think it is becoming trendier though, which is so odd because I've been eating it every Autumn/Winter for as long as I can remember.