Saturday, 24 November 2012

Coq au Vin - Chicken Swimming in Wine & Bobbing for Mushrooms

Chicken swimming in wine
We here at Fondue Voodoo tend to enjoy our beers more then our wines, see my beer reviews at Beer Advocate here. Having been gifted wines we must preserver and endeavour to put them to good use.  Since it just happened to be dark, wet and cold outside (rain in Vancouver...who knew) my thoughts went to stew, specifically my take on Coq au Vin. Traditionally you include bacon and skip the potatoes, carrot or celery but I don't follow follow instructions well...

Here's what you will need:
  • 3lb Whole free range chicken - butchered into parts (we gave the wings and part of back to the Hell Hound)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped into large chucks)
  • 1 extra large clove garlic (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 5 small potatoes
  • 1 1/2  cups brown mushrooms (quartered) 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh herbs (thyme, savoury etc)
  • 3 cups red wine (such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomates
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • Flour for coating chicken
  • 3 TBSP beurre manie
Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then coat lightly in flour. Heat the oil in a large cast iron casserole dish (such as le creuset) and brown the chicken in batches on both sides over a medium high heat. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Reduce the heat, fry the mushrooms. Once browned remove and set aside. Next, add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and then add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute.

Add back in the chicken, mushrooms, bay leaves, herbs, crushed tomatoes, red wine and stock. Bring to a simmer making sure all ingredients are well covered with the liquid. Once the broth has come to a slow boil turn the heat down and cover. Allow to simmer go for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and tender. 

Remove the chicken and set aside once done. Taste the sauce and season as necessary. Remove from heat and whisk in beurre manie to make a lightly thickened sauce. Bring back to the heat and bump the heat up to medium to thicken - it should just cover a spoon slightly. Serve the sauce over with fresh herbs.

Coq au Vin Beer Pairing: You need a strong heavy beer to pair with this meal as anything light will not hold up to the red wine sauce. Belgian Strong Dark Ales or Belgian Quadrupel's would work great here as they have rich flavours of dark fruit, earthiness and spices that are reminiscent of red wines. We went with Unibroue's La Terrible which was a great match (my review here).

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