A chicken in every pot! This came to mind last Sunday when I was preparing a meal for my Son’s family. A classic Coq au Vin made with red wine was on my on my list, but as I thought about it, this dish seemed a bit robust for my grandson who might be put off by the reddish hue chicken takes on in the traditional recipe.
I was still set on a French themed chicken stew of sorts and that was when Florence Fabricant’s NY Times recipe for Coq au Vin Blanc emerged through the internet haze. This version is inspired by Ms. Fabricant’s great recipe.
This recipe uses a 3 to 4 pound chicken with the back removed cut into 8 to 10 pieces. Melissa Clark of the NY Times has a great video showing how to cut a whole chicken into pieces.
Upon butchering the chicken, the removed back is immediately put in a large sauce pan with water and any vegetable trimmings that are on hand. The vegetables I used in the stock were mainly the same as used in the stew itself. The stock will be ready in 60 to 90 minutes.
Preparation of the dish follows the typical sequence for a stew of any type. It begins with browning the chicken in a mixture of butter and olive oil. The chicken is then set aside while the aromatic vegetables (onions, garlic, celery, etc.) are lightly sautéed.
Next the pan is deglazed with the wine and the chicken returned to the pot to braise for about 60 minutes over low heat. The broth discussed in the previous paragraph is added so the chicken is covered by the braising liquid.
In the last fifteen minutes of cooking time, the sautéed mushrooms, frozen pearl onions and carrots are added. The dish is served with the broth, garnished with tarragon and accompanied by a crisp white wine. A great, lighter version of the classic Coq au Vin that serves 4 to 6.
- 1 – 3 to 4 pound whole chicken, back removed and cut into 8 to 10 pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 slices of thick cut bacon cut crosswise in 1/2 pieces
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons of everyday olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 stalks of celery
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons champagne, or white wine vinegar
- 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay to your preference (I like Sauvignon Blanc)
- I quart of chicken broth (preferably homemade)
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 small sprig of rosemary
- 5 sprigs of parsley
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 small young carrots, scrubbed, cut into 2 inch lengths and then halved
- 6 Crimini mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups of frozen pearl onions
- Tarragon leaves for garnish
- Heat a large cast iron braising pot on the stove to medium heat.
- Add bacon to the pot to render the fat. Remove the cooked back and set aside
- Add 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil to the pot and working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Set chicken aside
- Pour out most of the fat in the pot leaving about 4 tablespoons. Add onion, celery and 4 cloves of garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
- Deglaze the pot with vinegar followed by adding a bottle of good quality white wine.
- Return the reserved chicken and bacon to the pot. Add chicken stock as needed to cover the chicken. Add 2 sprigs of thyme, rosemary and parsley tied in a bundle so it can removed before serving. Reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer
- Bring a saute pan to medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, 2 cloves of mince garlic and 1 sprig of thyme. Season with salt and pepper an then saute until the mushrooms render their juices. Remove thyme and set aside.
- In the last 15 minutes of cooking time add lemon juice, the cooked mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions.
- Before serving swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter and adjust seasonings. To serve arrange in individual bowls and garnish with tarragon.