A timeless French rustic dish, Coq au Vin (“Rooster in Wine”) is incredibly flavorful, yet easy to prepare. Traditionally fixed using a mature rooster, the recipe has since evolved and now commonly calls simply for a female chicken. This rich, hardy entrée enchants anytime.
• 4 chicken legs • 4 chicken thighs • 4 cups red wine • 2 cups onions, medium dice • 1 cup carrots, medium dice • 1 cup celery, medium dice • 1 tbsp peppercorns • 1 bay leaf • 6 sprigs fresh thyme • 3 tbsp bacon fat • 4 cups veal stock • 2 oz. unsalted butter • 8 oz. slab bacon, blanched, fried and diced • 12 fingerling potatoes, cooked • 16 mushroom caps, sautéed • 4 oz. pearl onions
Marinate the chicken in wine starting the day before you plan to serve the meal. When choosing the wine, keep in mind, the more fortified the wine, the more flavor. Begin by preparing the bacon, saving three tablespoons of bacon fat. Remove your chicken from the wine, also reserving the wine for later use. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Next, tie the bay leaf, peppercorn and thyme together in cheesecloth to make a bag. In a hot pan, add the bacon fat and sear the chicken skin side first until it is brown, then sear the other side. Remove the chicken and set aside in a baking dish. Next, sauté the carrots, onions and celery until they are soft. Add the red wine from the chicken to the vegetables and cook until the amount of wine is reduced by one-quarter. Then, pour the mixture over the chicken and add your seasoning bag and the veal stock. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 90 minutes to twohours. While the chicken bakes, prepare the mushrooms and potatoes. After cooking, remove the ingredients from the liquid. Then, strain the liquid, skim off the fat and cook liquid in a saucepan until it is reduced by one-quarter. Place the chicken, bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions and potatoes in a pan and bring it back to temperature in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. Finally, stir 2 oz. of unsalted butter into the sauce, pour over the chicken and serve. This dish pairs wonderfully with rich, red wines like Cabernet or Bordeaux.
Speaking of wine, save this date! Wine lovers and foodies are in for a treat at the annual Waterleaf Food and Wine Festival on Saturday, September 6. Featuring live music, freshly prepared foods and a selection of more than 100 fine wines, don’t miss this day of great food, great wine and great fun!