Along with prime rib and making my own perfect creamy risotto, Coq au Vin is on my culinary New Year’s Resolution list. So when I received this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, selecting a recipe from The Bad Girl’s Kitchen was an easy choice.
I’ve looked at Julia Child’s recipe for Coq au Vin many times and always have found an excuse not to make it. The browned onions sound like a chore, cooking the mushrooms separately and getting them just right makes me nervous, but it’s really all about the “add cognac and flambe” issue. To me, flambe means an automatic visit from the fire department.
Coq au Vin (rooster in wine) is probably the most famous of all French chicken dishes. Rich with red wine sauce, tender with onions and mushrooms and browned pieces of chicken, what’s not to love.
Google tells me that Coq au Vin is a Burgundian dish, French comfort food. The original recipe instructed one to use a rooster, rather than a hen. Considered peasant food, the red wine was used to break down the old meat of the rooster rather than for flavor. True Coq was finished with the blood of the rooster and stabilized with brandy and vinegar so the blood would not clot.
This is all making Julia’s flambe recipe sound much more approachable.
As with any braised meat dish, we found this to be delicious! I used Benton’s bacon, a gift from Larry over at Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings. Benton’s gave the dish a bit too much of a smoky flavor, so I will use a cheaper and less gourmet bacon selection next time. I substituted a Columbia Crest H3 Merlot in place of the White Zinfandel.
The texture of this dish was so creamy, the flavor of the chicken exciting in a classic savory style. And the mashed potatoes were a perfect base for the meal bringing about a “melt in your mouth” experience.
Thanks to The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for this recipe.
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ pound bacon. chopped
- 1½ pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 & ½ cups carrot slices
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
- 1 really large bunch green onions, sliced thin
- 1 & ½ cups white zinfandel (I used red wine)
- 2 tablespoons Better Than Chicken Base
- 2 cups boiling hot water
- fresh parsley sprigs
- fresh tarragon sprigs
- Place flour in a large plastic bag, add chicken, seal and shake to coat chicken with flour.
- In a large saute' pan brown bacon until crumbly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- In the bacon drippings stir fry the chicken pieces until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Add butter. Scrape bottom to loosen and browned bits. These will add great flavor. When butter is melted add carrots and cook 2-3 minutes. Add celery and onions and saute until tender.
- Whisk together wine, boiling water, chicken base and seasonings. Pour over vegetables.
- Add back in the chicken and bacon pieces.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce is thick.