Monday, February 16, 2009

Coq Au Vin

1 750-ml bottle of a good, dry red wine
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
6 large fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
6 whole chicken legs with thighs

1½ cups pearl onions
5 T unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces large mushrooms, quartered
4 bacon slices, chopped

1 T vegetable oil

1½ cups Port
2 T all-purpose flour

Marinating the chicken:
Stir first 6 ingredients in heavy large nonreactive pot.

Add chicken, submerging completely. Cover; chill overnight. [I have marinated the chicken legs and thighs in tightly sealed Tupperware containers, rotating upside-down every 12 hours or so, for up to 3 days with splendid results.]

After marination:
Cook pearl onions in large pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes.

Drain and cool. Peel.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add pearl onions and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl.

Add bacon to same skillet and sauté until brown and crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Wipe skillet clean.

Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken from marinade to strainer (reserve marinade in pot).

Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken and sauté until skin is brown, turning once, about 10 minutes.

Transfer chicken to pot of marinade; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until chicken is very tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Strain chicken and cooking liquid over large bowl.

Transfer chicken to medium bowl; discard vegetables in strainer. Return liquid to pot.

Add Port and bring to boil.

Combine flour and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in small bowl. Whisk into cooking liquid. Boil over medium heat until sauce thickens and is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Return chicken to pot.

Add pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon to sauce in pot. Simmer until heated through and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.


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