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Coq au Vin Recipe in the House

One of Nina’s first favorite dishes was Coq au Vin, the French, chicken-in-wine, one-pot wonder, that’s full of mushrooms and rich flavor. Some of her first words, I am often reminding her, were “Quak o Van," which was her way of rendering “Coq au Vin,” but, as she is often reminding me, she has changed. She does not like mushrooms now (though what was recently a near-phobia has dropped to mere dislike, thankfully).

I bring this up because I made Coq au Vin on Saturday, and when I was looking through this blog for the recipe, I realized that despite often mentioning the dish and its family lore, I have not posted the recipe.

Before starting the dish, I knew that Nina and Pinta would spurn it, so I broke down and made them fresh flounder. I’m usually opposed to doing the whole short-order cook, make-a-million-meals-to-keep-everyone-happy thing, but in this case I caved. Call me weak if you will, but I just wanted everyone to be happy. I know I was happy with my Coq au Vin—it is one of my favorite dishes (there’s a reason Nina’s first words included its name).

Coq au Vin

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup or so of flour, for dredging
  • Olive or other vegetable oil
  • 1 strip of bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 small stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • ½ to ¾ cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, or a good shake of dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup minced parsley

In a small sauce pot, bring to a boil enough red wine to cover the porcinis. Once the wine is boiling, drop the dried mushrooms in the pot, cover, and turn the heat off. Allow to soak while performing the next steps, and/or at least 20 minutes.

In a good-sized Dutch Oven, heat on medium some of the olive oil.

Dredge the pieces of chicken in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then brown them in the pot, working in batches if necessary.

Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the pot and set aside.

Drain any excess oil and then sauté the bacon, onion, carrot, and celery.

Once those are soft (after about ten minutes, at least), add the garlic and cook about two minutes more.

Add the cremini mushrooms, and cook until brown and/or soft.

Drain the porcinis, reserving the liquid, chop them a bit, and add them to the pot.

Strain the porcini liquid through a couple of layers of cheese cloth and add it to the pot.

Add the chicken, the wine, and herbs; cover and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Keep on the heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes more.

Serve over couscous, garnished with more chopped parsley.

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