Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coq au vin

Coq au Vin...see the bacon??!!!!

Bacon, bacon, bacon!  Apparently, without realizing it, Dinner Plan-it has a theme going on.  And, hellloooo, it's a bacon theme.  Today's Coq au Vin is the third post in a row  that has some bacon-y goodness goin' on!  

First there was the beer and bacon mac and cheese, then the gumbo with some pretty righteous bacon notes to it.   (If you look further back in the blog, you'll find even more bacon recipes!)

And what do we have today?  A rich, hearty French peasant dish that starts off with a smoky bacon base, builds flavors in the pot with a beautiful mirepoix - aka celery, onion and carrots, but doesn't mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwah) sound so much fancier?   And with 3 cups of red wine to simmer the chicken and veggies in, it ends up being one happy dish! Then again, if you soaked me in red wine, I'd be happy, too...bordering on silly, even.  They say that bacon makes everything better.  I say, bacon and red wine makes "better" even better than that!

 Coq au Vin

  • 8 slices bacon, thick sliced, hardwood or applewood smoked, sliced into 1/2" pieces, set 1 slice of pieces aside for later
  • 8 chicken thighs without skin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
  • 1 large onion, diced fine
  • 2 celery ribs, diced fine
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced fine
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups red wine, I use burgundy
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, smallest ones you can find
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, frozen is just fine, thaw them and dry them well

Cook 6 slices of the the bacon until crisp in a big heavy skillet.  While the bacon is cooking, season the chicken on one side with salt and pepper.  Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

Place the chicken, seasoned side down, into the hot skillet with the bacon grease; season the other side of the thighs liberallly with salt and pepper.  Brown the chicken, turn over and brown the other side.  Make them pretty!   Remove the chicken to a a large Dutch oven.

Add the diced veggies (not the mushrooms and pearl onions), thyme and bay leaves to hot skillet. Cook, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until the veggies have softened.  Add the tomato paste and stir until it is incorporated thoroughly.

Pour the veggie mixture over the chicken in the Dutch oven.  Don't clean out the skillet; pour the burgundy into the skillet and stir well for a minute or so.  Pour the wine over the chicken with the veggies.  Set the skillet aside - don't clean it out're going to use it for the mushrooms and onions later and you want all that good flavor!

Move the Dutch oven to the burner and bring the chicken to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes.  Cover and simmer another half hour.  If you start this early in the day, at this point, you can wait to finish it about half an hour before you're ready to serve dinner.

In the skillet, saute the remaining bacon pieces and until crisp, remove bacon and set aside with the bacon you cooked before.  Saute the mushrooms and onions in the bacon fat until beginning to brown, then gently mix them into the chicken.  Simmer the chicken until the flavors all come together - maybe 15 minutes - and serve over hot, buttered and bacon-sprinkled noodles.

Gluten-Free Note:  This dish is naturally gluten-free.  Use a good brand of gluten-free tagiatelle noodles so the entire dish will be GF.  I like Schar Tagliatelle.  I use this brand for tuna casserole and homemade chicken and turkey noodle soups, too!

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