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Coq Au Vin Blanc

Serves: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) roasting chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle medium to full-bodied dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or white burgundy
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 pound pearl onions, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fresh crimini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed, quartered
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar


Procedures:

Literally translating to “rooster in wine”, coq au vin developed on the farms of France as a means of making a flavorful meal from older poultry. Slowing braising the bird in red wine makes it tender and delicious.

Preheat oven to 350°F and place a rack near the bottom.

To a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, add bacon. Cook bacon until crispy and fat has rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the Dutch oven.

Increase the heat to medium-high; season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Using tongs, place chicken in the Dutch oven and sear to a deep brown on all sides, about 6 minutes, working in batches as needed. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet. < br>
Add onion, carrot, celery and leek to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and cook, stirring to incorporate, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Cook until wine begins to thicken, 4 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to the Dutch oven along with any accumulated juices from the baking sheet and add enough broth to barely cover the chicken. Add thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, stirring to combine. Cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven. Braise the chicken until fork tender, 45 to 55 minutes.

If using fresh pearl onions, blanch in rapidly boiling salted water until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool. Trim ends and the peel should slide off easily. Set aside. If using frozen onions, thaw and drain off excess liquid.

To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and oil. When butter melts, add pearl onions and mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned. Drizzle with sherry vinegar and season liberally with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to the oven with the Dutch oven during the last 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions and mushrooms are golden brown, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

Remove Dutch oven from oven and using tongs carefully transfer the chicken to a clean rimmed baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a large saucepan, pressing solids with a wooden spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Place saucepan over high heat and cook braising liquid until reduced and thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Skim the surface with a ladle to remove any excess fat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve: Place a piece of chicken in individual shallow serving bowls and ladle sauce over each. Garnish with pearl onions and mushrooms, and sprinkle with reserved bacon pieces and thyme leaves. Serve immediately.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

 
 
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