Coq Au Vin - Come on Down! / by Alice Zhao

Coq Au Vin

When Jared asked me what one dish I wanted for our Valentine's day meal, I excitedly shouted out "Coq Au Vin!". There is just something about meat (or any foods for that matter) slowly cooked in wine that I love. I don't drink much wine, Not only is the meat tender and flavorful, but the sauce is amazing especially dipped with a hearty piece of a french baguette. It also fills your house with an amazing aroma. I've made coq au vin exactly once before and it was no easy task. It wasn't that the steps were insanely difficult, but that there just so many of them! This would be Jared's first time cooking AND eating it. He started with a recipe from Bon Appetit and tweaked it slightly.

Recipe adapted from Classic Coq Au Vin, Bon Appetit 2002 (serves 4-6)

Marinating Chicken
1 750-ml bottle French Burgundy or California Pinot Noir
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced
1 large garlic clove, peeled, flattened
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 6-pound roasting chicken, backbone removed and use it for stock, cut into 8 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings with top quarter of adjoining breast, 2 breasts)

Cooking chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into strips
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 large shallots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 large fresh thyme sprigs
4 large fresh parsley sprigs
2 small bay leaves
2 cups low-salt chicken broth (I used homemade stock as it tastes better and no added salt)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as crimini and stemmed shiitake)
20 1-inch-diameter pearl onions, or boiling onions, peeled
Chopped fresh parsley