OK, I wanted to try this after I saw a first edition of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I blew it and didn’t buy it. Now with all the Julie and Julia hoopla, I figured I’d give it a go. I took Alton Brown’s recipe and some random crockpot recipe and this is my bastardized bachelorized version. I’m not sure it’s any good, but it tasted the way I thought it should (even though I’ve never had Coq au Vin before). I used 2 buck chuck cabernet rather than the pinot noir.
Coq au Vin
* 2 medium onions, cut into big chunks
* 4 chicken thighs and legs, or 1 (5 to 7-pound) stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons water
* 6 ounces bacon sliced into 1/2" pieces.
* 16 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 (750-ml) bottles red wine, preferably pinot noir
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 medium carrots, quartered
* 5 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 cups chicken stock or broth
Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.
Cook bacon in large frying pan until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into crockpot.
Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes.
Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the crockpot along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Turn crockpot to high until it comes to a boil and then turn to low and simmer all day long. Remove lid and simmer to reduce liquid by 1/3.
Serve over egg noodles, if desired.
Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.