Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coq Au Vin

Coq au vin is a very classic French dish where chicken drumsticks are literally bathed in hours in a rich wine stock and is absolutely gorgeous. It is just as absolutely tedious to prepare and make!

I typically use the largest chicken drumsticks that I can find for this particular dish. Season them well and lightly coat them with a layer of flour and seal it in a pan until they are lightly golden brown in color. Set aside.

For this dish, you can actually use your own combination of vegetables and ingredients to make up the delicious broth, but typically I would start to fry some chopped bacon (without oil as bacon will ooze oil as you cook).

Set aside the bacon but use the same pan as the bacon fat is just nice to cook the rest of the veggies. I would typically saute some mushrooms, carrots and leeks and set all of them aside. Once the sauteing part is done, take a large pot and fry some onions and garlic in some olive oil until the flavors are present.

Next add in the rest of the veggies and bacon and stir continuously. Add a generous amount of wine (half to a bottle) and lots of chicken broth or stock and bring all of them to a boil. Usually I would apportion equal portions of wine and chicken stock but you can vary depending on your taste.

Next add in the chicken drumsticks and bring it to a simmer. Add in some herbs, but I tend to prefer some bay leaves and thyme or rosemary and cover with a lid and let it cook at a low heat for at least 2 hours. Occasionally stir every 15 mins or so.

By then, the chicken meat should be literally falling off the bones and it is tender like melting in your mouth. The broth would also have reduced considerably to give it a more thick and sauce like texture and the flavors of the ingredients would have been thoroughly brought out through the slow cooking process.

About 15 mins before serving, add a nice knob of butter to give it some additional richness and texture. Serve with baguette or rice or cous cous.

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