I decided to make something I'd never made before this week. Over at my parents house, I was thumbing through my mother's copy of The Art of French Cooking and came across this recipe for Coq au Vin.
It's a fantastic recipe because it really is super simple and easy but produces a meal that looks extremely labour intensive. The chicken is moist and flavouful and the sauce has a strong but delicate wine flavour ("Strong but delicate?" you ask. Seriously. Try it. You'll see.). Plus, it creates these really dynamite little onions that basically disintegrate in your mouth. Fernande Garvin, the author, serves it with French bread fried in butter. I noticed that almost every poultry recipe in the book is served with fried bread, so I went with the boiled potatoes. If you are doing it for a special occasion, though, absolutely fry up some bread and serve the chicken on top. It is so freaking delicious. You'll wonder why we've been toasting bread when we could have been frying it all along.
There are a few things to keep in mind with this. I used four thighs and one breast (all with skins and bones) because I couldn't be bothered to quarter a chicken. Mine turned out a bit greasy, I'm guessing because I had all those thighs. It wasn't a problem though; I just poured off some of the fat at the end and it separated easily. The resulting sauce wasn't greasy at all. I also took the chicken pieces out and let the sauce reduce a bit because we wanted a thicker sauce, but really it's great either way.
This really is a fantastic recipe. It is fast, simple, and produces great, classic results. Plus, I reheated it the next day and it was equally delicious. Perfect for a Sunday dinner, so go make it. Now.
Coq au Vin
from The Art of French Cooking by Fernande Garvin
3 pounds broiler chicken - quartered
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup clear chicken broth
1 garlic clove - crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
12 small white onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms
In a large, heavy skillet, cook chicken and chopped onion in heated oil until slightly browned.
Stir in flour and cook until well browned.
Add wine, chicken broth, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, white onions, and mushrooms.
Bring to boil. Cover. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until meat is tender.
Garnish with slices of fried bread. Serve with boiled potatoes.