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Dec 27, 2006 02:28 PM

Cook's Illustrated Coq Au Vin

I had their version several months ago and loved it. Can someone please post a link to the recipe or, if you're feeling particuarly charitable, post the recipe in full? Thanks!

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    Written: 11/2006
    A medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir or Rhône Valley Grenache is best for this recipe. Avoid bold, heavily oaked red wine varietals like Cabernet and light-bodied wines like Beaujolais. To use fresh pearl onions, trim the root and stem end of each onion and discard. Boil for 1 minute, shock in ice water, then peel a thin strip from root to stem. Remove any remaining outer skin (it's like peeling off a jacket). If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.) Serve the stew with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

    Serves 4 to 6 1 bottle fruity, smooth, medium-bodied red wine (see note above)
    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
    2 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 bay leaf
    4 ounces bacon , preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
    2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs , trimmed of excess fat and cut in half crosswise
    Table salt and ground black pepper
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    24 frozen pearl onions , thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup) (see note above)
    8 ounces cremini mushrooms , wiped clean, stems trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
    2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    Red wine, mushrooms, and bacon transform chicken thighs into a rich, hearty stew. Serve with mashed potatoes to soak up every drop of the sauce.

    Casseroles Chicken Fall Winter
    See Illustrations Below: How We Did It: Coq au Vin in 90 Minutes

    1. Bring all but 1 tablespoon wine (reserve for later use), broth, parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs.

    2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in small bowl; discard remaining fat.

    3. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of chicken in single layer and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining chicken and 1 tablespoon bacon fat.

    4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring frequently, until well combined, about 1 minute.

    5. Add reduced wine mixture, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; add 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return chicken, any accumulated juices, and reserved bacon to pot; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

    6. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce until thick and glossy and measures 3 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt. Return chicken to pot and top with minced parsley. Serve immediately.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      There is debate over boneless skinless thighs v. bone-in skin-on thighs. While subtle, the bone-in has a fuller flavor. Just don't use breasts, and remember that the thighs cook while browning, and don't need much cooking in the sauce.

      1. re: OldTimer

        Old Timer, you are preaching to the choir. I have always preferred bone in thighs with the skin attached.
        I had eaten Coq au vin since I was a child, and it was only when I was in middle school did I learn that it had a name other than chicken braised in red wine. CI had made a few changes but it is remarkably similar in technique and ingredients to what my mother and grandmother taught me to make.

      1. French peasant says to herself "I've got this old rooster, so I think I'll give it the traditional tough bird treatment. Cook it low and slow in some of our cheap everyday wine and add some vegetables to it. It goes well with a fresh baguette to sop up the sauce."

        This perspective does not resemble any of the write-ups and recipes I've seen aimed at our English-speaking citified audience. They seem to be attempts to make something elegant out of a basically humble and practical dish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sharuf

          On the contrary, it is a rational adaptation of present day food merchandising. While 3-4 hours may be OK for an "old cock", it will disintegrate a 3-4 lb fryer.

        2. By the way, this is the Cook's Illustrated "Modern Coq au Vin," which they say is meant to be a streamlined version of the original. They also have a more time-consuming one that takes 3-4 hours thatthey published years ago.

          1. I have this recipe in my Cooks Illustrated book, but it calls for bone-in, skin on - any tips for making sure the skinless boneless come out OK? (They're what I have). Also, I'm going to be doubling this for a pot luck crowd - I have a 6 quart and a 4 quart dutch oven - should I try to make it all happen in the 6, or split it up between the two?