Coq au Vin
I have been experiencing a lack of creativity as of late — likely due to too little sleep and too much work and life commitments. Consequently, I didn’t even play with this recipe from the October Food & Wine for Coq au Vin.
Granted, I did change the name of the recipe. In the article, F & W calls it Coq au Reisling. But I went to a lousy wine store where dry reislings were no where to be found, so I am calling mine the generic Coq au Vin. It was made with a hefty amount of cheap Sauvignon Blanc. Otherwise, the recipe is a pure copycat.
I feel like I woke up one day this week and it was full-fledged fall. The thermometer below fifty degrees, a chill in the air, and the leaves changing to a kaleidoscope of colors. Candidly, I am not ready to give up my flip flops, shorts and tank tops. Nor am I happy about the fact that it is dark when I wake up in the morning.
But I will celebrate the return to my kitchen of slow cooking comfort foods like this marvelous recipe of chicken legs, mushrooms, wine, creme fraiche and tarragon. This recipe is actually fairly economical and a great dish to make for a family style dinner for family and friends. All the prep and labor intensive parts happen on the front end so that by the time guests arrive, you can actually socialize as it slowly cooks in the oven.
Serve this Coq au Vin right out of the pot, ladling some of that white wine sauce over some wild rice. You might also want to add some greens as well in the form of sauteed spinach or roasted vegetables.
- 4 pounds chicken legs, split
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 1½ cups dry Riesling or dry white wine
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Finely chopped tarragon, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned, 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining chicken, then pour off the fat and wipe out the casserole.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in the casserole. Add the onion, carrot, celery and shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute, scraping up the browned bits from the pot. Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil.
- Nestle the chicken in the casserole; cover and braise in the oven for 1 hour, until tender.
- Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, without stirring, until well browned, 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on the solids; skim off the fat. Return the braising liquid to the casserole and boil until reduced to 1½ cups, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the crème fraîche and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and chicken to the sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. Garnish with tarragon and serve.