Thursday, December 10, 2009
No Drop Wasted
True confession time. I don't drink. I'm not a scary judgmental teetotaler, it simply makes me nauseated and gives me insane headaches. This is all very sad. I used to enjoy having a drink, and frankly, I think my husband would have enjoyed having someone to have a drink with. Now he occasionally will have some wine, but despite the best efforts of our wine vacuum, sometimes bottles languish, unfinished, unloved. That stops NOW. Because I have mastered Coq au Vin. Well, Coq au Vin Blanc anyway. It is unimaginably good, but it definitely requires an initial time investment before the meltingly tender chicken is yours to enjoy. No more wine induced guilt for us.
COQ AU VIN BLANC
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
5 slices turkey bacon (you can use real bacon like Emeril advises if you want)
3-4 T duck fat (not needed if you use real bacon, however, turkey bacon doesn't really give off fat, and duck fat is so good, mmm)
1 chicken about 3 1/2 to 4 lbs, cut into pieces, Emeril recommends quartered, mine was in 8 pieces.
2 t salt
1 t pepper
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 shallot finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
9-10 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and halved or quartered to be bite sized
1/6 C all purpose flour (use brown rice flour to make gluten-free)
1 t tomato paste (get the tube at the store if you don't use it often)
1.5 C full-bodied dry white wine (seriously, I used whatever was in the fridge)
3/4 C rich chicken stock (I had homemade, I don't know where Emeril's going with the "rich")
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 C heavy cream
I served mine, as Emeril recommends, with egg noodles. Feel free to be creative, but it definitely needs to be served with a starch.
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
In a large Dutch oven, fry the turkey bacon on high heat until crispy. Remove and set aside. Clean and trim chicken, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Add the duck fat to the Dutch oven. Brown the chicken in the duck fat, working in batches if necessary until it is golden on all sides. That last sentence there, is the absolute suckiest part of the whole thing. Wear long sleeves. The fat sputters and spits and the chicken skins stick to the bottom of the pan and you may curse loudly. It's all over pretty quickly though (I went about 3-5 minutes a side) and you'll be happy later. Transfer the beautifully browned chicken to a plate and breathe a sigh of relief. If you need to add a smidge more duck fat, do so. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, shallot and garlic cloves. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook 7 minutes more. Stir in the flour and tomato paste. Stir constantly for a minute or two. Then add the wine and stock, continue to stir constantly until everything is incorporated. Then add the thyme, bay, chicken and bacon. Bring the liquid up to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid is slightly thickened. Bring the liquid up to a boil again, then cover the pot and pop it in the oven for about an hour and a half. Check after an hour to make sure it isn't drying up. Add more liquid if needed. When it's done, remove the chicken. This is the fun part. You will realize that using tongs is kind of entertaining because the chicken meat starts to fall right off the bone as you take it out of the pot. I like to debone the chicken at this point, and think if you're serving to company, you really should. Put the chicken on a platter and cover to keep warm. Heat the pot to medium low. Skim any fat off the surface (I didn't see any) and increase the heat to medium high. Add the heavy cream and cook until the sauces has thickened enough to slightly coat the back of a spoon, about 15-20 minutes. Taste, add more salt and pepper as needed. Return the chicken to the pot and heat through, then serve.