Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Coq au Vin with Thyme and Merlot
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 3 1/2-pound chicken cut into 8 pieces
(I also used a 3 1/2 pound package of organic thighs from Costco)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup peeled pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
one 750 ml bottle merlot (I found a bottle of Charles Shaw at Trader Joe's for around $4.00.)
1 small bunch fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, sliced in 2" pieces, or 15 baby carrots with 1/2 " stems
1 cup cremini mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large Dutch over medium-high heat and pour in the oil. (I used medium heat because I have a hot stove.) Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes total and then transfer them to a large plate. (I also used a frying pan so that there are not too many pieces in the pan together, that would cause steaming.) Add the onions to the drippings and sauté them until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water, the wine, bay leaf, torn in half, and the reserved chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake 30 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and the carrots, re-cover, and bake until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes more.
Transfer the chicken and all the vegetables with a fine-mesh strainer or slotted spoon to a bowl and keep warm. Remove and discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs, so just sauce remains in the pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Return the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to coat well and heat through. Serve immediately on a rimmed platter, sprinkle some chopped parsley on top, passing any extra sauce in a gravy boat.
Another way to individually plate this entree, would be to place a good spoonful of garlic-mashed potatoes on each plate, and then to place chicken and vegetables on top.
So voila, there you go ! Make this lovely dish for a Holiday, birthday, anniversary, or any time you feel in the mood to pretend you're in Paris !