Thursday, March 31, 2011
Simple Elegance: Quick Coq Au Vin
I used to make a quick version of Coq Au Vin, or so I thought, as part of our regular weeknight meal rotation. I had a recipe that was all made in one pot and could be done in less than an hour. The hubs really liked it and I liked that it was easy. I hadn't made the dish in quite some time and I thought of it the other day when trying to come up with something delicious but a little more special to make for the hubs on my day off. I figured since I had the day off I could find a different recipe that maybe would be more work but would be more like the classic Coq Au Vin, which takes a whole lot longer to prepare. When searching for a new recipe, I learned my old dish was really nothing like what Coq Au Vin is supposed to be. It was a good dish, but now I don't even think it can be called Coq Au Vin. Here I was searching for a chicken dish with tomatoes and wine but apparently I was way off. Obvi, Coq Au Vin is the super fancy french way of saying chicken cooked in wine, and to my surprise, there are no tomatoes involved. There is however a whole lot of wine, yummy mushrooms, bacon, garlic, shallots, chicken, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. What I realized in the end that I was not wrong that I love Coq Au Vin, I was just totally wrong in what it actually was... and boy am I glad to be wrong!
The absolute best thing about this dish is that it sounds totally impressive but I'll let you in on a little secret- it's totally easy! Totally simple elegance!
Quick Coq Au Vin
3 tbsp olive oil
3 slices thick cut bacon, roughly chopped
4 chicken thighs
1 handful flour seasoned with salt and pepper
8 oz crimini mushrooms, halved
8 shallots, cut into slices
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 bottle red wine, less one glass (for the cook!)
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Set bacon aside.
Shake chicken with the seasoned flour in a plastic bag until coated. Shake off any excess flour and brown chicken in pot, 4-5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside with bacon.
Saute mushrooms, garlic and shallots in pot until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour half of wine into pan and cook over high heat for about 8 minutes. Add broth and the rest of the wine. Bring to a boil and add the chicken, bacon and herbs to pot. Return to a boil then cover and simmer 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf, thyme and serve.
Recipe adapted from 2 epicurious recipes found here and here.