Coq Au Vin is a classic French dish typically featuring Burgundy, Mushrooms and Lardons. I have prepared this dish using bacon in the past instead of Salt Pork. I must say the dish really shines with salt pork. Bacon overpowered the the Burgundy and herbs that had a better showing when I used Salt Pork. Coq Au Vin is a decadent display of classic French cuisine. Although this dish involves a little work; it is really quite easy and rewarding. Thanks to Darschon at the Party Source wine department for his excellent Burgundy recommendation; L’AURORE BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2010
1 Bottle Burgundy or Pinot Noir
20 Pearl onions
20 Button mushrooms
2-3 Cloves garlic minced
4 Sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Tbsp dried
1/4 Pound salt pork
1/2 Stick butter
3 Tbsp flour
Salt to taste if needed
1-2 Tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Preparing the Pearl onions and Lardon (Salt Pork)
Anyone who has tried to peel pearl onions knows how difficult it can be. Pearl onions can be easily peeled with the following technique. Start by bringing water to a boil over high heat. Cut off a small portion of the tops of the onions. Place onions in a brown or plastic bag and blow in some air. Holding the bag closed shake vigorously for about 30 seconds; this removes a lot of the outer skin. Place all onions in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain water and remove onions to cold water. Cut the root ends off and squeeze off the outer layer of skin. Do not over boil the onions.
Cut Salt Pork into Lardon (Small strips or cubes). Heat a Dutch Oven over medium heat, add lardon and fry until golden brown. Remove lardon and save.
After rendering all the glorious pork fat from the lardon add 1/2 stick of butter. When the butter is melted coat the chicken pieces with flour and brown on both sides two pieces at a time. Remove chicken to a dish and fry the next two pieces until all the chicken is browned. Add onions and Lightly coat with about 1-2 tsp of sugar over medium heat. Let the onions cook stirring every minute or so. The sugar will help to caramelize the onions. Add mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 2-3 tbsp of flour and stir to coat; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken back into the Dutch Oven along with the minced garlic. Pour entire bottle of Burgundy or Pinot Noir into the Dutch Oven. Add Bay leaf and thyme pushing them into the liquid. Add fried lardon and a generous amount of cracked black pepper.
Tip: DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE LARDON!
Cover and place into a 325 degree for 2-3 Hours. After cooking for 1-1 1/2 hours remove Dutch oven and turn over all pieces of chicken being careful not to damage them. Put back into oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The liquid should have thickened by now. Serve over egg noodles.
I absolutely love this dish and have fun making it. The mushrooms are an inconspicuous treasure bearing the fruits of all the ingredients soaking them up like a sponge.