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23 August 2015

Coq au vin: Julia's Child recipe


As I watched "Julie & Julia" for the first time in my life, the idea of having my own food blog appeared in my head. Years passed by until I finally did it - 23d of August, 2014. Now, after a year of having it, I cannot help but wonder - Wow! So many recipes, so many good feedback words from my readers. This all keeps me going further. A lot of ideas are still not realised. So let's see, where will we be next year :)

For such a special occasion and to express my gratitude to Julia Child, today I would like to share the recipe of Coq au vin. In other words, a casserole of chicken in red wine, with onions, mushrooms, and bacon. 

Ingredients: (4-6 servings)

100g lean bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized chicken, cut into parts (or all of one kind of part)
1/4 cup Cognac 
 salt, black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 onions (in original recipe 20 small white onions, I did not have them this time)
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or Pinot Noir
About 2 cups brown homemade chicken stock, or beef stock
1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
About 1 tablespoon tomato paste
300 g fresh mushrooms, trimmed, washed, and quartered
2 carrots (*optional ingredient)

Coq au vin is one of the most famous French dishes. With its' wine flavor, tender taste and mushroom note, it is the No 1 dish for special occasion. I modified a little bit with the ingredients, added carrots, though it is optional, of course. Get all the needed ingredients prepared, so that you mainly focus on the process. Curious? Let's start right now.



1. Cut bacon into stripes or sticks if you have the whole piece. In a heavy bottomed casserole saute it with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. When bacon is very lightly browned, remove to a side dish, leaving fat in the pan.

2. Wash and dry chicken parts thoroughly in a towel. Add them to the fat left from bacon, not crowding the pan too much. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pour in cognac, ignite with a lighted match, shake pan back and forth for several seconds until flames subside.

3. Peel onions and carrots, cut them into medium pieces, and fry them in 1 tbsp of olive oil in a separate bowl/pan for about 2-3 minutes. Add them to  the chicken. Sprinkle on the flour turning chicken, carrots and onions so flour is absorbed; cook 3 to 4 minutes more, turning once or twice. 

4. Add bacon from step 1 and cook covered slowly for 10 minutes.

5. After the chicken parts turned golden-brown, pour wine into pan, and add just enough bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer on slow heat covered for about 20-30 minutes, or until chicken meat is tender. 

6.  Test chicken pieces, piercing with a fork. Take tender parts out and if needed simmer another 10 minutes.

7. Put all the chicken pieces into the pan. In a separate pan melt butter and oil, add mushroom pieces and saute them for 3-4 minutes. Them add them to the chicken pan.

8. Taste carefully. Sauce should be just thick enough to coat chicken and vegetables lightly. If too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if too thick, thin out with spoonfuls of bouillon.

Decorate with sprigs of parsley when serving. Accompany with the same wine you used while cooking.

Bon Appétit! And happy Gourmet Anniversary :)