Poor Moe, he had to wait until almost 8:00 for dinner.
I decided to make Coq au Vin. Probably not the smartest idea I have had recently. Not exactly the best meal to start cooking after 5:30. I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up the necessary bacon, mushrooms and fresh pearl onions needed for the dish. The rest of the ingredients I had on hand. Including a whole chicken that needed to be cut up before I could get started.
COQ AU VIN
The following recipe comes from a 1961 copy of Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
A 3- to 4-ounce chunk of lean bacon
A heavy, 10-inch, fireproof casserole or an electric skillet
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups young, full-bodied red wine, such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône or Chianti
1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock, brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
12-24 brown-braised onions
1/2 pound sauteed mushrooms
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
Sprigs of fresh parsley
Remove the rind of bacon and cut into lardons (rectangles 1/4 inch across and 1 inch long). Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry.
Sauté the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned (temperature 260 degrees for an electric skillet). Remove to a side dish.
Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole (360 degrees for the electric skillet).
Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly (300 degrees) for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.
Uncover and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.
Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock or bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is
pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf.
Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste (beurre manié). Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce. Serve from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter. Decorate with sprigs of parsley.
12 to 24 small white onions, peeled (or double the amount if you want
to use tiny frozen peeled raw onions)*
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
* If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.)
While chicken is cooking, drop onions into boiling water, bring water back to the boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain. Cool onions in ice water. Shave off the two ends (root and stem ends) of each onion, peel carefully, and pierce a deep cross in the root end with a small knife (to keep onions whole during cooking).
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, add parboiled onions, and toss for several minutes until lightly browned (this will be a patchy brown). Add water to halfway up onions and add 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pan and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are tender when pierce with a knife.
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small,
sliced or quartered if large
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare mushrooms. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil; when bubbling hot, toss in mushrooms and saute over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat.