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Coq au Vin
Coq au vin, chicken in red wine, is one of the classics of French cuisine, and is one of the first dishes Pierre learned at his mother's side. Most chefs call for Burgundy wine in the sauce and flour as a thickener; Pierre's mother preferred chicken blood to bind the sauce, a reflection of a different time back in a small, rural French village. The recipe here follows the bloodless method!
INGREDIENTS¼ pound lean salt pork
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
½ pound small whole mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Côtes-du-Rhône
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs parsley
PREPARATION1. Cut the salt pork into rough 1/3-inch cubes. Place them in a skillet with the pearl onions. Cover with water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes, then drain, and continue to cook the salt pork and onions over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until the cubes of pork start to brown. Discard the fat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken pieces in the pan skin side down and cook until golden on one side, about 4 minutes. Cook on the reverse side about 3 minutes. Drain the fat.
3. Put the shallots, onions, and garlic into the casserole with the chicken. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Blend the flour into the mixture well. Add the wine, and bring to a boil to dissolve the brown particles clinging to the bottom and sides of the casserole. Add the onion-mushroom-salt pork mixture. Add the thyme, bay leaf and parsley. Check the seasoning, cover and simmer or 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Do not overcook. Serve with fine noodles.
Note: In France, sometimes a few tablespoons of Marc de Bourgogne, which is an eau-de-vie made from grape skins, is added to the pot.