One of our favourites for a grey, wintery evening. Warm, rich and full of flavours.
Let’s first talk about the chicken: we prefer using chicken thighs, organic, obviously. Great texture, layered and a bit of fat. You could also use chicken legs, but then we suggest removing the main bone; you don’t want to struggle while eating.
The second main ingredient is the red wine. A classic Coq au Vin is made with Bourgogne, a relatively expensive red wine from France made from Pinot Noir grapes. According to some people the wine you use for the stew must be the same that accompanies the dish. Which would mean that part of your beautiful Bourgogne ends up in the stew. Hm. We think that the background of this ‘rule’ is about the quality of the wine you use for the stew: it must be a nice, dry, red wine; one you would be perfectly happy to drink. So not some left over red wine, or a wine you didn’t like. A perfect stew requires quality ingredients, that’s all.
The third main ingredient is the pearl onion, that lovely small, silver onion. Great to pickle, but for a Coq au Vin you need fresh ones.
We enjoyed our Coq au Vin with a glass of Révélation Pays d’Oc Syrah-Viognier produced by Badet Clément. It’s a full-bodied wine with flavours of blackberry and spices. Touch of oak as well. The 15% Viognier gives the wine a nice, light touch. Great wine for a very reasonable price.
What You Need
- 2 Chicken Thighs
- 4 strips of Pancetta or Bacon
- 14 Pearl Onions
- 100 grams Mushrooms
- 2 Garlic Gloves
- Chicken Stock
- Red Wine
- Bouquet Garni (Bay Leaf, Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary)
- Black Pepper
- Chopped Parsley
- Olive Oil
- Snow Peas (Mangetout)
What You Do
Clean and quarter the mushroom, slice the strips of pancetta or bacon in four, peel the onions, slice the thighs in two or three, peel the garlic and chop. Add olive oil to a warm heavy pan. Begin by frying the pancetta or bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and let drain on kitchen paper. Add (whole) pearl onions to the pan and fry until golden. Remove from the pan and let drain on kitchen paper. Add mushrooms to the pan and fry until golden. Remove from the pan and let drain on kitchen paper. Add chicken thighs to the pan and fry until golden. When golden add the garlic and fry for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add pancetta, mushrooms and onions to the pan. Add chicken stock, red wine and perhaps some water. The chicken should be nearly covered. Add bouquet garni and leave to simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
Remove chicken, mushroom, pancetta, garlic and bouquet garni from the pan. Discard the bouquet. Return one or two mushroom to the liquid. Transfer the remaining ingredients to an oven at 60 °C or 140 °F. Blender the liquid for one minute. Reduce the liquid until it has reached the right consistency. The fun is that a liquid thickened with blended mushrooms doesn’t split. Return the ingredients to the sauce and boil the snow peas. Combine the coq au vin with the parsley, add some black pepper. Steam or quickly cook the peas, coat with excellent olive oil and add some freshly grated nutmeg.