Coq Au Vin
A rich, French chicken stew.  Tastes like a lot of love.
 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut to ½ inch pieces
  • 4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in with skin
  • kosher salt
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced in 1-inch diagonal pieces
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 cups red wine (I use Merlot)
  • 1¼ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 9 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional) 

 

Directions
1. Dry chicken well with paper towels.  Liberally salt and pepper all chicken pieces.

2. Heat a large 5 to 6 quart pot on high, like a dutch oven (with a lid - need for later use).  Cook bacon until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes.  Remove bacon when done and set aside, reserving bacon drippings in pot.

3.  Without turning off heat, carefully place chicken pieces in pot - may need to do several batches, lay chicken in side by side (not on top of the other), skin side down first, searing to a golden brown for 5 minutes on each side, turning over after first side is cooked.  Remove chicken to platter and set aside.

4.  Turning heat to medium-high, add sliced onions, carrots and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to pot and saute for 5 minutes.  Then add garlic and flour, stir for a minute.  

5.  Add tomato paste, stir for another minute.

6.  Add red wine, broth, sugar, thyme and bay leaf.  Stir a few times. 

7.  Add mushrooms, stirring, and return chicken to pot and any released chicken juices back to the pot.

8.  Cover with lid and bring liquids to a boil, then simmer on medium heat.

9.  With lid on, cook for 15 minutes.

10.  Remove lid and cook for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Stir in bacon pieces at the very end.

11.  Taste sauce, season with more kosher salt if needed.  Ladle chicken and juices onto serving plates and sprinkle with Italian parsley for a touch of green. 

Serve with thick slices of toasted sourdough baguette (*tip: slice baguette at a diaganol about 1½-inch thick, toast slices in toaster and rub a raw garlic clove all over. GARLICKY YUM), over rice, or with Creamy Mashed Potatoes.  Whatever.