Once in a while I like to indulge in classic cooking. By that I mean French Continental fare. Coq au Vin is in that vein. , A French stew where chicken is braised in red wine to yield a rich sauce filled with mushrooms and small pearl onions.
Normally, a red Burgundy is used to create the dish. I decided to try it with a dry white wine and, since I had them on hand, I added carrots. Also, for the mushrooms I used crimini mushrooms instead of button mushrooms. And, please, always fresh, no can stuff.
The normal accompaniment to Coq au Vin is mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. Harking to my Nuyorican heritage, I did it with yellow rice. It’s up to you to experiment. I’m sure the dish would go good with quinoa or couscous, or any other grain that strikes your fancy.
Fryer chicken, about 2 pounds
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup diced salt pork
8-10 small white onions
4 carrots, thickly sliced
4 scallions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
¼ cup warm cognac or brandy
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
½ pound fresh small mushrooms (if large, sliced in half)
- Rinse chicken under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into serving pieces. Place in a bowl, add wine, cover, and marinate for at least 2 hours. Or, you can place chicken pieces in a large zip-lock bag, add wine, zip close and marinate. Remove chicken from marinade and wipe dry with paper towels. Reserve marinade. Dredge chicken in flour.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or fry pan. Add chicken and brown lightly over medium-high heat. Remove chicken pieces and set aside To pan or skillet, add salt pork, small onions, carrots, scallions and garlic. Brown lightly. Reduce heat and return chicken to pan. Blaze with warm cognac. Mix well, add parsley, salt, pepper, marinade, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Stir in mushrooms and continue simmering, covered, for 20 minutes more.
Yield: 4 servings.