Coq Au Vin

Coq au vin
I think my favorite Julia Child recipe is definitely Coq Au Vin.  It is classic, easy ( swear ) and delicious.

Large hunk of lean bacon ( I actually used pork belly )
Butter – unsalted, just have a few sticks on hand
Large chicken cut up in 8 pieces
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups red wine  (full-bodied)
1-2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
24 pearl onions ( one bag )
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms (cut in half)

On a large dutch oven pot, on the stove, add 2 tbsp. butter, melt and then add the bacon but into 3-4 pieces.  Turn it down to low and let it lightly brown.  Then remove to a side dish.

Brown the chicken in this.  Do it in batches, you don't want to crowd the pot.  Make sure you really let the chicken brown.  If you need more butter, by all means, add more in or olive oil.  Set this aside on a separate plate when done.

Once all the chicken is done, place it back in the dutch oven, and then pour cognac over the top.  Light the cognac, be careful as you don't want your hair to get on fire. Once the flame is lit, shake the pot until the flames subside. 

Add the wine, see how high the chicken is covered.  If the chicken is not completely covered, add some stock. Add the tomato paste and the herbs (put these in a small herb pouch or wrap in cheese cloth so the herbs don't float throughout the liquid). Turn heat high and then lower to simmer.  Cover and let this hang out for 30 plus minutes or until the chicken is done ( should register 170 on a thermometer).

While the chicken is cooking, make the mushrooms and onions.  In a frying pan that will fit all the mushrooms, melt 2 tbsp. butter and a small bit of olive oil, saute until done. 

In a pot of boiling water, blanch the pearl onions for a few minutes.  Then strain running cold water over them.  Cut off tip of the onion and you should be able to push the other end and the onion will come shooting out.  Watch out.  Once you have skinned all the onions, make them the same way as the mushrooms.  Saute in butter and olive oil. 

Once the chicken is done, take the chicken out of the pot, set aside.  Now boil down the liquid until it is about 2 1/2 cups left.  Take off heat. 

Mix together 3 tbsp. flour and 2 tbsp. butter to create a paste.  Put this in the liquid once it is boiled down and whisk until completely combined.  Once the mixture starts to get thick, put it back over a low heat which will help the sauce get a tad thicker.

Put the chicken back in, pour the mushrooms and onions over the top.  If you want to set this aside until dinner, you can.  Just put a few dabs of butter around the top and let it sit, uncovered until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, just heat up the dish, bring to simmer, baste the chicken and serve.

I served boiled yukon gold potatoes with butter ( of course ) on the side.  This particular batch wasn't my best, neither is the picture.  I doubled the recipe which is fine but I didn't take the time to seriously boil down the liquid so the mixture could have been a tad thicker.  Regardless, tasted good.