This recipe is a little more involved but with a little advance planning and a good mis en place it comes together nicely. Just keep in mind there isn't a single part of this recipe that can't be removed from the oven to wait for another part to catch up and then rewarmed for service. So don't worry if one part finishes up before another. You can also cut the chicken into leg, thighs, breast and wings if you need to serve 6 or if you want to have white and dark meat for everyone. I cooked the garnish (carrots, pearl onions and bacon) separate for a simple reason, it keeps the dish from being muddled. It allows the their flavors to shine on their own but still adds to the over all flavor of the coq au vin. —thirschfeld
- Serves 4
3 1/2 pounds
rooster or fryer, quartered
bottle burgundy or pinot noir
onions, peeled, trimmed and quartered
carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
celery stalks, washed, trimmed and cut into 1 inch chunks
leek, top only, save the white for eating or another dish, rinsed
curly leaf parsley sprigs
rich goose, duck or chicken stock
2 1/2 tablespoons
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
piece of parchment paper cut into a round to fit the pot
smallish carrots, about 1/2 inch round, peeled and trimmed
boiler onions, peeled and trimmed
a healthy handful of mushrooms, if they are large cut in half and scored
slab of unsmoked bacon or pancetta
- Preheat the oven to 325? F. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Place a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold the chicken so you can easily brown it on all sides over medium high heat and add enough clarified butter to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken quarters and brown them nicely on all sides. Take your time, adjust the heat lower if necessary but brown it deeply without burning it. This will pay off in flavor later. Once the chicken is brown remove it to a plate.
- Add the wings, back onions, celery, carrots and leek. Brown them lightly.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the thyme and parsley and let the wine bubble away the alcohol and start to reduce. Season the pot with a heavy pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Not to much though you are going to reduce the sauce and as it reduces it will get saltier.
- Tuck the chicken quarter back into the pot. You will most likely have two layers but don't worry. Add the stock and tomato paste. If the stock doesn't bring the level of liquid to just below the top of the chicken add a little water. Bring the whole thing to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Place the parchment round onto the surface of the stew then put the lid on and tuck the whole thing into the preheated oven.
- Set a time for 1 1/2 hours. After 45 minute, though, you want to check it and turn the chicken. Now is the time to make your mashed potatoes but be prepared to keep them warm. I find an ad hoc double boiler works well for this.
- After an hour place has passed on the timer, place a large saute pan over high heat. Add enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan and then add a little more. The mushrooms will soak the fat up like a sponge and you want them to. Once the pan is near smoking hot add the mushrooms. Season them with salt and pepper and brown them.
- Reduce the heat, remvove the mushrooms to a plate and then add the carrots and pearl onions. Swirl them around in the pan. Add the slab bacon and enough water to just cover the carrots but not the bacon. You want the bacon to braise on the bottom but get crisp on the top so don’t cover it completely. Season the with salt and pepper.
- Bring the water to a boil and then slide it into the oven along side the chicken.
- Once the chicken is tender but firm, not falling off the bone, remove it to the plate you used before and then strain the stock into a bowl. Discard the solids and defat the stock. Wipe out the pot if you need to and then add the stock back to the pan.
- Using pot holders, remember the pot just came out of the oven, place the pot with the stock over high heat and reduce the sauce to your desired thickness. Taste and season appropriately. If it reduces to much just add a little water back to the pan.
- Add the chicken back to the pot and turn it to coat it with the sauce and to rewarm it. Add the mushrooms and warm them too.
- Check the carrots and pearl onions to see if they are done. If so remove them from the oven. Slice the bacon into four pieces.
- Plate it up and serve.