You all know that Coq au vin is just a fancy French way of saying “Chicken Stew”, right? IDK… many of my friends don’t know that so forgive me when I seem like I need to be “Captain Obvious” ;-)
I’ve mentioned before that my Mom’s family is French. NOT the sophisticated eloquent French that you might be picturing… more like the poor kind. I’m proud of that though because along with being poor comes the need to be inventive. We’re ALL inventive when it comes to food. My grandmother had 10 children and that’s a LOT of mouths to feed when you only have 1 chicken! Grandma used to go out to her yard and choose a chicken, chop it’s head off and take the feathers off. Yummy huh? Thank GOD I never had to SEE it, much less do it. I’d probably never eat meat if I had to witness something like that. Coq au vin is one of those recipes that you can make your own and it’s inexpensive. It just takes a little bit of time.
Here’s my way… which, BTW, has been SO simplified but SO tasty! This is what we had tonight. I have to be in the right mood to want to go through a little trouble and tonight, while it’s cold and rainy, I’m in the right mood!
Coq Au Vin (Michelle’s Way)
2 1/2 to 3 lbs chicken pieces (breasts, thighs or drumsticks) OR a whole chicken, skinned and cut up (I used 3.5 lbs chicken breasts, boneless)
2 TBSP cooking oil
salt and pepper
2 large vidalia or sweet onions, cut into 8 pieces each
1 1/4 cups Burgundy
4 medium, thinly sliced carrots
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp dried crushed thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb smoked bacon, chopped and cooked crisp, bacon grease reserved
5 TBSP flour
2 TBSP butter
16 oz cooked Penne pasta for serving
Cook bacon until crisp. It’s easier if you chop the bacon while it’s still a little frozen. Set aside.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown chicken pieces on all sides in hot oil, about 15 minutes. Drain fat. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add onions, mushrooms, bacon, carrots, Burgundy, chicken broth, dried parsley, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer and cover. Cook for around 50 minutes or until chicken is fork tender.
Take chicken and vegetables out of pot and set aside. Discard bay leaf.
Heat reserved bacon grease and the 2 TBSP butter until hot. Add flour and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes. Once roux (bacon grease and flour) is made, add mixture to the juices from chicken. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Once thickened, cook for 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve over pasta.
*This recipe makes very generous servings for 6 people. The bacon makes this even more tasty than the other recipes I’ve tried. Enjoy!