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Food Comics: Coq au Vin

Tom O.
Posted by Tom O. on Jan 4, 2018
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We are pleased to introduce Food Comics from The Chopping Block where our resident Cartoonist Tom O'Brien illustrates his cooking adventures. Here, he shows us how to make one of the most popular dishes of Julia Child. If you've never ignited alcohol in a dish before, you must try it!

Food Fans, I'm in the northeast and it is cold. Really, really cold. Luckily, I'm next to a warm fire and there's a magnificent smell wafting in the air. It's the smell of a Julia Child classic Coq Au Vin This is a French classic that takes some time, but deceptively easy to make. It also uses close to a bottle of wine and a ton of butter, so it must be tasty! It takes right around 2 hours to make and will serve 4-6 people. I recommended serving over boiled potatoes. Here's what you'll need for the chicken: 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced bacon, cut into 1/4 by 1 1/2 inch strips 7 tablespoons butter, divided into one 3 tablespoon pad and two 2 tablespoon pads 3 ½ – 4 ½ Chicken, either a whole chicken cut into pieces or all of one cut 1⁄4 cup cognac salt and pepper 1 bay leaf 1⁄4 teaspoon thyme 20 pearl onions, peeled 3 tablespoons flour 2 cups red wine (Burgundy, Cotes du Rhone, or Pinot Noir) 2 cups chicken stock 2 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 3⁄4 lb fresh mushrooms, trimmed, washed, and quartered To start, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot and then add the bacon. Cook the bacon until lightly browned. It should take around about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot. Dry the chicken thoroughly. With the butter still in the pot over medium-high heat, add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. You may need to work in batches. Cook the chicken until nicely browned on all sides. Make sure to turning often so it doesn't burn. If you're working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot. Next is one of my favorite parts of this recipe. Pour the Cognac over the chicken and light it on fire with a match. Allow it to burn for a minute while shaking the pan before putting a lid on the pot to put out the flame. Slowly stir in the wine and stock. They should almost cover the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the bay leaf, thyme, pearl onions and tomato paste. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Flip the chicken once about halfway through. While the chicken simmers, saute the mushrooms. Heat the butter in a skillet over high heat. Once the foam from the butter has started to go down, add the mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes. After the chicken has finished simmering, remove the chicken and set aside. Skim the fat off of the cooking liquid and then bring to a boil. Boil until it has reduced to around 2 ¼ cups. Return the liquid to a simmer. Sprinkle in the flour and add the remaining butter, mixing well. Return the chicken to the pot along with the mushrooms and bacon. Simmer for 4 to 5 more minutes. Serve immediately. Happy eating!

If you want some hands-on experience with the technique of braising, The Chopping Block's Braising Boot Camp is coming up in February at the Merchandise Mart. There's also Cold-Weather Soups and Stews on Tuesday, January 16 at Lincoln Square with a menu that full of hearty dishes to get you through this cold snap.

If French food is what you crave during the winter months, join us for Simple French Food on Monday, January 8 or Food and Wine of France on Friday, January 12, both at Lincoln Square. 

Love our food comics but want a text-only version for easy reference in the kitchen? Download a PDF of the recipe here.

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Topics: braising, Coq au Vin, chicken, Recipes, food comics

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