Coq au Vin sounds exotic and forbidden. But simply put it is chicken stewed in red wine, with mushrooms and onions, if you prefer. The best cuts for stewing are always the cheapest. Wheather for chicken, pork or beef. Dark meat with the bones still in, skin still on, gives a beautifully moist, flavorful, coq au vin. Cheap red wine can cost somewhere around $10CAD, a cheap bottle of French brandy cost thereabouts $25CAD at the LCBO. It also tastes beautiful for drinking.
*Brandy can be substituted for cognac in any recipe. The taste will be slightly different, but its a very suitable, cost efficient alternative. Cognac costs thereabouts $60CAD, at the LCBO.
I have opted for drumsticks. But thighs would also work very well for this recipe. A family package of drumsticks skin on, and bone in cost me $6CAD at farmboy.
You begin with your Dutch oven. Boil your sliced bacon in a bit of water, for about 10 minuets then draining it in a culender and rinse it with cold water. Then spread on a paper towel and dry.
With some butter brown the now dried bacon in the Dutch oven on top of the stove at a medium heat. Then with a slotted spoon remove the browned bacon and set aside. Leave the bacon fat and butter.
Dry the chicken with paper towel. Brown the chicken in the bacon fat and butter. Season with sea salt and pepper. Return the browned bacon to the dutch oven with the chicken. Close the lid and let cook for a about 10 minuets.
Take the lid off add the cognac or brandy and light it up protecting your face. This is why you use an casserole dish or Dutch oven because it has a heavy lid. My Dutch oven really lit up right to the overhead vent. My husband was very amused.
Add the wine, beef bouillon, tomatoes paste, thyme, and Bay leaves.
*You’ll see in the pictures of the original recipe below I have made my changes.
Given my experience with beef bourguinon, which is a similar red wine stew, with beef cubes instead of chicken, I decide given the amount of liquid I would boil down the liquid at a consistant boil. With the lid on. Not just simmer
As soon as the boil down begins I suggest starting your side dish. I am pairing this, as suggested by Julia, butter parsley potatoes.
Also during this time prepare the mushrooms. I prefer sautéed mushrooms in butter seasoned with salt and pepper. Remember to dry the mushrooms they must be dry to brown properly and properly spread out.
Once the potatoes are finished the liquid in the Dutch oven should be down to about 2.5 cups of gravy. Then add the butter and flour paste. Remove bay leaves and set your plates.