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Coq au Vin from Lemony Thyme

Today marks the 100th birthday of the witty and talented, Julia Child.  She is being celebrated across many food sites today I’m sure.  While I remember watching The French Chef on PBS and being captivated by Julia’s quirky voice and clear love of cooking, it wasn’t until I was reintroduced to her character in the hit movie Julie & Julia that I fell in love with her.  I’m sure there are many forums that have addressed this movie’s effect on food blogging.  It certainly captivated me….though I had no thought of writing about food at that time.

“We should enjoy food and have fun.  It is one of the simplest and nicest pleasures in life.” ~ Julia Child.

Coq au Vin, French translation “rooster in red wine” is a wonderfully rich chicken dish with tender onions and mushrooms.  It is our pleasure to make it today in honor of Julia’s 100th.

 

Sauté  bacon in heavy Dutch oven until browned.  Remove bacon and add chicken to brown.  Return bacon to the pan and cover, cooking on low for 10 minutes, turning chicken once.

After browning the chicken, uncover pan and add cognac.  Flambé by igniting with a match, swirl pan to burn off alcohol and extinguish flame.  Add red wine and enough chicken broth to almost cover chicken pieces.  Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme.  Bring liquid to a simmer, then cover, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes until chicken is tender and instant-read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the Brown-Braised Onions and the Sautéed Mushrooms (see previous post).

Once chicken is done cooking, remove to a side dish, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot.  Bring liquid to boil and cook to reduce to about 2 cups, then remove bay leaf.  Make paste from 3 Tbl. flour and 2 Tbl. softened butter and then add into the 2 cups of hot cooking liquid.  Whisk and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sauce is nicely thickened to coat the chicken.

Serve chicken on a platter with the Brown-Braised Onions, Sautéed Mushrooms, and a side of green peas and perhaps some rice or crusty bread.  This wonderful dish can be made ahead and reheated allowing the layers of flavors to really incorporate.  Such a wonderful representation of Julia Child’s mad skills and let us not forget her blunt approach to cooking and life really.  I leave you with this quote…

“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded, then whack the hell out of a chicken.  Bon appétit.” ~ Julia Child

Coq au Vin {Bon appétit Julia}
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ - 3 lb. frying chicken cut up, skin on and thoroughly dried
  • 4 oz. bacon
  • 2 Tbl. butter
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • 3 cups red wine (we used Pinot Noir and would recommend reducing to 1½ cups)
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 Tbl. tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ¼ tsp. dried
  • 3 Tbl. flour
  • 2 Tbl butter softened
  • Parsley sprigs
  • Brown-Braised Onion (see previous post for recipe)
  • Sautéed Mushrooms (see previous post for recipe)
Instructions
  1. Cut bacon into ¼" pieces and sauté in 2 Tbl. butter in heavy Dutch oven until browned, remove to side dish.
  2. Dry chicken thoroughly and add pieces into the hot oil and brown on all sides, then season with salt & pepper.
  3. Return bacon to the pan and cover, cooking on low for 10 minutes, turning chicken once.
  4. After browning the chicken, uncover pan and add cognac. Flambé by igniting with a match, swirl pan to burn off alcohol and extinguish flame.
  5. Add red wine and enough chicken broth to almost cover chicken pieces.
  6. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme.
  7. Bring liquid to a simmer, then cover, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes until chicken is tender and instant-read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  8. While the chicken is cooking prepare the Brown-Braised Onions and the Sautéed Mushrooms (see previous post).
  9. Once chicken is done cooking, remove to a side dish, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot.
  10. Bring liquid to boil and cook to reduce to about 2 cups, then remove bay leaf.
  11. Make paste from 3 Tbl. flour and 2 Tbl. softened butter and then add into the 2 cups of hot cooking liquid.
  12. Whisk and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sauce is nicely thickened to coat the chicken.

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