Coq au Vin (sort of)

So…I really didn’t want to post this one, mostly because I think raw chicken looks really gross.  And the finished product looks kind of like a gooey blob.  And isn’t the point of a food blog to have aesthetically pleasing pictures of food that makes you want to put down that takeout menu (or log off the Seamlessweb site) and cook something??

Hmm, maybe.  But honestly, despite the highly questionable pictures, it tasted pretty yummy!  And it gives you an excuse to buy a bottle of wine.  The recipe only needs half a cup, so someone‘s got to make sure the rest doesn’t go to waste… just sayin’.  And hey, maybe you buy two bottles of wine, in case you try the first and it just doesn’t have the right terroir to fit your culinary needs.  Did I even use that term correctly?  I clearly didn’t pay enough attention to the wine seminar senior year.

Anyway, buy some wine.  But make it good – the recipe I found calls for a “dry red, preferably a zinfandel,” which I don’t drink… and since Gordon Ramsey says never cook with wine you don’t drink (and attractive, adorably accented men will never steer you wrong!  …right??), I went with a Malbec.  Yum!

Okay, let’s get this one out of the way – you gotta get bone-in chicken.  It’s weirdly pale and creepily squishy.  Don’t worry, you’ll live.  But remember to wash your hands after you handle raw chicken, lots of unsavory things happen if not.

Coq au Vin

(adapted from this recipe from EatingWell)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lbs of bone-in chicken legs, thighs or breasts (take your pick)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 large carrots (I didn’t have any, I used peas because I felt the need to add color – tasted yummy!)
  • 1 – 1.5 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (didn’t have any, used tomato sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Could you find bone-in, skinless chicken?  I couldn’t.  So you improvise – trim off the skin.  Are you feeling indulgent tonight?  (Good for you!)  Or do you feel the need to fatten up your loved ones as winter is approaching (it gets cold in the City and electricity isn’t getting any cheaper)?  Leave it on!  You may have to skim off the fat later, but I’m sure it’ll be just as delicious, if not more so.

Take your chicken pieces, and coat them in a light layer of spices (salt, pepper, other spices that make you smile inside), and roll them around in flour.  Save about 2 tablespoons of floor, and mix with the water in a small bowl.  Set that aside.

Coating the raw chicken in flour makes it less gross...

In a dutch oven or pot, heat up half the olive oil on medium heat.  Add the flour/spice coated chicken, and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes, or until all sides are lightly browned.  Set them aside on a plate.

Add the rest of the olive oil to the dutch oven, and sautee all the vegetables and rosemary on low / medium until they’re soft and the onions are almost translucent.

Eat your veggies!

Add the wine, chicken broth, tomato paste.  Stir until combined.  Taste it, see if it needs more salt / pepper / spices.

Add in your chicken pieces, including any juices that may have accumulated.  Cook on medium heat until the chicken is done (and comes to at least 165°F), about 15-20 minutes.  Unlike red meats you have to cook chicken thoroughly, or you risk getting sick.  Yikes.  Remove the chicken again and set aside (on a different plate!  The last one you use had non-fully cooked chicken, just be safe and use another one, or wash the dish).

If you left the skin on the chicken, check and see if there is a layer of fat floating on the surface of the sauce that’s left in the pan.  If so, skim it off and discard.  Then add your flour/water mixture that you had set aside earlier to the sauce in the pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.  Do you want to thicken it up some more?  Mix ~ a tablespoon of cornstarch with enough water to dissolve the powder, and add to the sauce.  Thickens it up nicely.

We also had some mashed potatoes with this (thank you Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potato medallions!), so we heated up the mashed potatoes, scooped some on a plate, laid down 2 pieces of chicken, and spooned a generous amount of sauce on top.

Restaurant-quality presentation this isn’t.  But it is pretty hearty and homey, and when it’s starting to get just a little chilly outside and it’s been raining nonstop for a week, this is almost better 🙂  Now you can just pour some wine and be glad you don’t have to do dishes (because the person / people you cooked for are going to do it, riiiight?  Right??  Kunle, I’m looking at you)

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One response to “Coq au Vin (sort of)

  1. I WOULD EAT THIS IN A HEARTBEAT.

    But I would actually eat anything that you cook me/we cook together 🙂 I wish I were there with you so that we could discuss how gross the chicken feels while holding the chicken! Regardless, the end product looks magnifique!

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