So this morning we planned on a make-up Music class session and then ferrying dinner over to Mike at the station. Do you ever have those days where you're all dressed up and ready to go and just want to get out and do whatever, enjoy your freedom... Why does it always happen to be that ONE day that you already have something else to do that's important? Why couldn't I get one of those motivated-for-fun days on a day that I often end up wearing exactly what I slept in the night before because I have no good reason to get out of those grubbies? (These would be days Mike is on shift. Mostly.) All this to say that I ran out of time and had to choose: Class or Coq?
Coq au vin (winner!) was surprisingly simple for all of the flavor going on. Perhaps that's because it's braised in an entire bottle of red wine. I love this meal for winter- I think of it as highfalutin' comfort food. Simple. GOOD. Just make sure you get the pronunciation correct when you serve it to your dinner guests.
Coq Au Vin
4 Tbsp. butter
4 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks and/or thighs)
Sea salt and pepper
10 oz. or about 1-1/2 c. mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (I used 12 oz... the more the merrier)
1 c. sliced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 bottle dry red wine
3 c. chicken broth
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into pieces (to be added at the end of cooking, optional but do it)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown on both sides for about 8-10 minutes. Reduce the heat if the pan begins to scorch. You may need to brown the chicken in two batches depending on the size of your pan. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of the liquid left in the pan and cook mushrooms, shallots and salt over medium heat until lightly browned or for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for 30 seconds longer. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Slowly add wine while scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then slowly stir in the chicken broth. Stir in the bay leaves and bring to a slow simmer.
Add the chicken back into the pot making sure all the pieces are covered with the braising liquid. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently until the chicken is fully cooked. This will take about 40 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to your serving platter and over to keep warm. Continue to simmer the braising liquid over medium-high heat until it has thickened and measures about 2 cups. This will take about 20 minutes longer. Once you reach this point, turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, whisk in the chilled butter (optional but not really, you must do it), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.
Visiting Daddy at the Station is never complete without a thorough exploration of the "Weeyu-weeyus".
Eileigh's favorite: pulling the cord for the bell
Oh how I love this girl!
Note: not a fan of loud noises. Or even slightly noisy ones.