This past weekend I spent a good portion of my R&R cooking. I don’t get the chance to cook that often with my busy urban warrior lifestyle, but Sunday morning some inspiration came over me and I almost two hours shopping starting at 7:30am for what would be a day of feasting.
I’ll try to get my recipes in order so that I share everything I made in one day, but this recipe is one of my all time favorites. Coq au Vin is a tough French dish that can either be served en flambe or as a stew. I’ve never tried the flaming version, but I may in the future and will let you know how my eyebrows fair.
I’ve made this a half a dozen times or so, so here is Cougar’s Rooster in Wine…
Cooking + Preparation Time: About an hour.
- Fresh chicken pieces on the bone – I usually get a pack of 4-6 drumsticks and an equal pack of thighs. Medium to small size pieces work best. Remove the skin prior to cooking.
- 4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces. I like keeping the fat for more flavor, but for the healthy types try to pick up fresh pieces from the butcher that are lean.
- 1 large onion
- 8 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 medium potatoes. I prefer to use a mixture of red, yellow and white potatoes.
- 2 large carrots
- 1 small pack white button mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 and 1 half cups of good quality red wine (or two-buck chuck, haha)
- Two and a quarter cups of chicken stock.
- Loads of black pepper
The Method – Part 1
- For this dish, you need a large sauce pan, or as I like to use, a stockpot with a lid. Pour the oil into the pan and have on medium heat.
- Finely chop the large onion and the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Allow these to cook for a couple of minutes and then add the chicken pieces. Allow the chicken to brown well on each side and then add the bacon pieces. If it is easier because of pot size limitations I ofter brown the chicken in a skillet first before combining.
- Once the bacon has started to cook, sprinkle the flour over the contents of the pan and season well with black pepper. I use an EXTREME amount of black pepper! Stir everything around so that the flour is evenly dispersed, then pour the red wine into the pan and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring often.
- Now add the stock, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, and place the lid on the pan.
- As the Part 1 is simmering prepare the vegetables by peeling the carrots, potatoes and shallots. I like to cut the carrots into about a quarter-inch pieces and cube the potatoes. I also cut the shallots and mushrooms in half.
- Add the shallots to the pan.
- Once the chicken pan has been simmering away for half an hour, add the carrots and potatoes. I literally time this!
- Ten minutes later, add the mushrooms. Timing! Check the level of liquid in the pan and add more if you feel it needs it.
- The dish should be ready around an hour after you first put it on to simmer. Make sure the carrots and potatoes aren’t crunchy. If your sauce is soupy, you can remove the lid and turn the heat up for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. You can also sprinkle another tablespoon of flour to thicken the sauce.
And BOOM! There is an insanely flavorful dish ready to devour! Again, this is one of my favorites of all time. Please try it and tell me how yours turns out. Pictures appreciated!
Photo Credit up top: The Food Network. While I “borrowed” the photo from their site, as you’ll see my recipe is quite different. Some how mine looks quite a bit like theirs, even though I freestyle most of mine. Try both!