Umami
Umami

Coq au Vin

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servings

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total time

Ingredients

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Directions

Bacon: I use regular old American bacon. I freeze my bacon, after separating the strips with wax paper to make it easy to remove as many as I need. I use one and a half strips, which I cut up into what I imagine “lardons” might be: across the width, resulting in fat matchsticks. I do not simmer it before starting the recipe. A person with a better palate than mine could probably detect this lapse.

I saute the bacon in butter, remove it from the pan, brown the dried chicken in the fat, season the chicken, return the bacon, and slowly cook the chickenfor 10 minutes.

I skip the cognac step, thus surrending this chance to layer in some flavor. We just don’t have cognac around. And setting it on fire is a “No” for me.

I use 2 cups of red wine, not 3. Again, I surrender this opportunity to have a sauce with a bigger flavor. I may try it with 3 cups. For most of my cooking career I’ve used pretty “meh” wine. Recently we upped the wine quality in this dish, and it has made a difference. I used a Pinot Noir the last time, but any “big red” will suffice. The stock I use is “Better than Bullion” beef. I don’t make homemade stock. I use fresh thyme if I have it on hand. I suspect my final product is thyme-ier than Child’s.

I thicken sauces with Wondra, which cooks in one minute and avoids the lumps that the only other flour that we have on hand—bread flour—tends to produce.

I can finish making this dish in 90 minutes, although I am sure that the first couple of times I made it, it took me two hours.

I have an induction stove and great cookware—All Clad D5—that heats really fast, really hot. My times for getting the chicken done are shorter than some of Child’s indications.

She published this book at the height of the popularity of the electric skillet.(My mother had one.) I think Child’s times are based on that cooking method. I start taking a temperature 15 minutes into the final cooking to avoid overcooking the dish.

Notes

I used 3 strips of bacon. I didn’t do the water step either. I did use cognac but wasn’t blown away by the fire so maybe I did something wrong? Could try it again. (Turn off the flame and use candle lighter to create spark.) Used chicken and beef bouillon blend (1 tsp each) and 3 cups wine. Used a delish Gamay. Use Gamay or Pinot Noir in future. Used more garlic. About 4 cloves chopped.

Keep an eye on the chicken cooking—may have overdone the breast a tiny bit. Probably needs less time than is printed. Barely had flame on for some of the cookery—that Le Crueset really gets hot!

That third cup of wine means you are reducing for a decent amount of time!

When you test the sauce at the end, don’t be surprised if you need a teensy bit more beef bouillon, salt, pepper.

I found it easiest to make the paste of butter and Wondra using my hands.

Didn’t have fresh parsley. A little dry to finish was fine.

For the mushrooms and onions: I didn’t do what the recipe said. I used about 4-5 shallots thinly sliced, a big thing of mixed mushrooms, about 1-2 tbs butter, a clove or so of minced garlic, some fresh thyme and dried parsley and chive. I was generous with the dried chive. Salt, pepper, and the teeniest bit of beef bouillon and water once the shrooms and shallots were soft and browned. Largely ignored them while the chicken cooked and sauce reduced.

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servings

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total time