Welcome to my Food Journey

Curious Southern Cook on a journey to learn...and to create exceptional dining experiences. I love entertaining and preparing food for loved ones & friends and sharing those experiences with others. My wish is that you will be fed too. Bon Appetite!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Coq au Vin

So what does Coq au Vin have to do with being Southern you ask?  Well in Louisiana...everything.  We have a rich food heritage from many different cultures, especially the French.  Don't let that word scare you, it's not hard and worth the time to create a special meal just for your family.  One day I will modify this recipe for the crock pot (or you can),  so it can be ready after work on a weekday evening,
or after church on Sunday. 
Give it a try.

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices thick sliced bacon, cut in 1 inch slices
10 chicken thighs
2 ½ teaspoons salt, plus extra for seasoning chicken
1 teaspoon pepper, plus extra for seasoning chicken
6 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally about ½ inch
2 yellow onions halved from root to stem then half moon slices about ½ inch
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup brandy
3 cups red wine
1 cup stock (vegetable, chicken, turkey, veal)
10 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
8 ounce bag frozen pearl onions (boil in salted water, drain and hold)
8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F
In a large skillet, add olive oil and bacon, fry over medium heat until crisp.  Remove from pan to paper towels to drain.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.  Brown chicken in hot bacon fat/olive oil on both sides about 10 minutes total.  Remove chicken to Dutch oven.  To skillet add the sliced onions, carrots, mushrooms.  Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes, add garlic continue cooking for another 5 minutes.  Add wine, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir and heat until it reaches a simmer.  Turn off stove, add the brandy and stir.  Place tight fitting lid on Dutch oven, place in preheated oven for 1 hour.  In the skillet previously used, melt butter, add flour and stir until incorporated.  Carefully remove Dutch oven to flat surface, remove lid.  Check seasoning and correct if needed.  Add butter/flour mixture and stir until incorporated.  Add pearl onions.  Place back in oven for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done (no longer pink). Stir, serve garnished with extra fresh thyme.
Note: The photo shows the Coq au Vin served with fingerling potatoes which were boiled in salt water, halved and browned cut side down in butter.
Dedication: This very special meal was prepared for my Husband Neil for his birthday and was also enjoyed by our daughter Sara.  You both inspire me.    
Recipe credits: I began by studying recipes from Ina Garten, Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagasse and Alton Brown...then tweaked until it was ready.  The result is what you see above...user friendly and delicious.  ENJOY! 

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