Heritage Coq Au Vin
This traditional French recipe (adjusted for kosher cooking)
is complex, time consuming, and well worth it!
1 heritage chicken cut into 4-8 pieces
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8-16 oz kosher beef bacon
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
20-30 pearl onions
1 bottle of full bodied red wine
2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
2 medium carrots, quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
shmaltz or margarine
white all purpose flour
Cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an "x” with your knife in its place. Boil 3 cups of water and drop in the onions for 1 minute. Remove the onions from the pot, allow them to cool, then peel and set aside.
Place beef bacon cubes in a lightly oiled skillet on a medium heat and cook approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and set aside, leaving fat drippings in the pan. If your bird is whole, cut up chicken. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with freshly ground black pepper and dredge in flour. Add chicken to pan and brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Remove chicken from pan and set aside in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
In the same pan, using the remaining fat or adding more shmaltz if necessary, add the pearl onions, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next add the mushrooms to the same skillet, adding the more shmaltz if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. Place mushroom, pearl onions, and bacon in a covered container and leave in fridge overnight. Deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, remaining wine, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 275°. Place the enameled Dutch oven in the oven and cook until the chicken is tender. Maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally. Cooking times will vary depending on size and age of bird. Allow at least 30 minutes per lb and cook until chicken is tender enough that it gives way when prodded with a fork.
Once the chicken is done, remove it and set aside in a warm oven. Strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, beef bacon, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, add a mixture of equal parts shmaltz or margarine and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.
Add the chicken back into the pan and mix to coat chicken thoroughly in sauce. Remove from the heat and serve over egg noodles or a wild rice pilaf. Enjoy with a glass of red wine.
Recipe courtesy The Kosher Omnivore’s Quest