Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Coq Au Vin: A fancy meal for us peasants

It's that time of year again where I am trying my best to shop my pantry and freezer and use up a lot of what we have around the house.

While researching some inexpensive menu items I came across some history.  I love history and I love learning, so finding new meals and new ways of making things special is just what I like!
Coq au vin is a peasant meal that dates back hundreds of years, but the first written testament to this dish is in the 1864 cookbook called "Cookery for English Households".  Even though it only takes a few ingredients and is very easy to make, it feels extremely indulgent and is quite delicious. 

There have been many updates and many adjustments to this braised meat in wine sauce and with that, everyone has their own interpertation. This dish was made to use up a lot of bits and pieces. You can make it with what you have left basically. 
You only have some chicken thighs? Ok, let's use those. 
You only have a couple of carrots??? ... perfect! 
We can use those.
Throw in an onion... 
You get the picture. It wasn't a -go get- special ingredients type of meal. 
Like I said, there are many varieties to making this, but I am going to share what I did and you can adjust as needed. 

I'll list my ingredients and then I will give the method.

1/3 lb bacon, chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
a handful of chopped mushrooms, more or less or none
thyme (several sprigs or 2 tsp dried)
chicken drumsticks or thighs 6-8 of one or the other or a mixture of both
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 bottle of red wine or I used 2 of those mini bottles
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour

Begin your one pot wonder by frying the bacon in the bottom of a dutch oven or extra large skillet with about 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Once just cooked remove from pan and place on a dish lined to soak up any excess grease.
In your pan pour just a bit of your red wine (maybe 1/4 cup) in and begin to scrape up any stuck on bits from the bacon. Give that a minute or so to cook down and then move on to your chicken.
Now, add your chicken drumsticks/thighs that have been seasoned with salt and pepper and cook til just browned on the outside. Don't worry, we will finish off the chicken later.
Once your chicken has been browned, remove it to a dish lined with paper towel/cloth to rest.
Add your carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Allow your veg to cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, continuing to scrape the bottom of that pan for any leftover goodness. After cooking your veggies, toss in your chopped garlic and thyme and give it about a minute to cook. 
Pour in your chicken stock, wine and stir. Nestle your chicken back into this sauce and bring to a boil.
Once boiling you can lower the heat slightly and cover. This will cook about 40 minutes. Give it a stir every once in a while for good measure and to make sure everything is being saturated by that beautiful sauce. 
Once you've been cooking around 40 minutes or your chicken is thoroughly cooked, pull back your vegetables and chicken and add a pat of butter to the center of the pot and stir with the sauce. Then add your flour and stir rapidly to help thicken. 
Once your sauce is nice and thick and your chicken is cooked, you are ready to serve!

The suggestions for this meal was serve with potatoes and bread. 
So we ate ours served over mashed potatoes and it was absolutely wonderful! 
I hope you enjoy!!!

1 comment:

  1. this recipe sounds so good(and the pic. looks delicious.) I will be cooking this tomorrow night. Blessings, Carolyn in Florida