Listen up- nobody has the cash to eat the lukewarm prix fix at the chic
little spot in that cool part of town these days. Everybody knows it's
amateur night at the restaurants on any holiday anyway, so why not nest and
make your sweetie a meal he/she won't soon forget.
I have never even attempted this dish but I have always wanted to. It's from
Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook and I have always thought it such a
sexy meal- coq au vin- Decadent. Comforting. Rich. Wine soaked. And classic.
(Just like vous..including the wine soaked for most of us). I would post a
picture of it but coq au vin is not so photogenic really. But Bourdain is.
Man is he cute.
Here is the recipe...enjoy it in all its French traditional goodness...maybe
you will be braver than I and make this dish your latest conquest. Put on
something saucy, dust off the Serge Gainsbourg on vinyl, and make this dish
sing...your other half will LOVE your tenacity...there is a lot of prep
involved so its a lot like foreplay- a little patience goes a long way....XO
Adapted from the Les Halles Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain
1 bottle/1 liter plus 1 cup/225 ml of red wine
1 onion, cut into a 1-inch/2.5 cm dice
1 carrot, cut into 14-inch/6-mm slices
1 celery rib, cut into 12 inch/1-cm slices
4 whole cloves
1 tbs/14 g whole black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (2 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig parsley, 1 bay leaf wrapped in
cheesecloth and tied with a string )
1 whole chicken, about 3.5 lb/1.35 kg, ³trimmed² meaning guts, wing tips
and neckbone removed
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbs/28 ml olive oil
6 tbs/75 g butter, softened
1 tbs/14 g flour
14 lb/112 g slab or country bacon, cut into small oblongs (lardons) about 14
by 1 inch/6mm by 2.5 cm
12 lb/ 225 g small, white button mushrooms, stems removed
12 pearl onions, peeled
pinch of sugar
3 large, deep bowls
large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot
small sauté pan
small sauce pan
1 sheet parchment paper
deep serving platter
The day before you even begin to cook, combine the bottle of red wine, the
diced onion (that¹s the big onion, not the pearl onions), sliced carrots,
celery, cloves, peppercorns, and bouquet garni in a large deep bowl. Add the
chicken and submerge it in the liquid so that all of it is covered. Cover
the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. Put it aside. Strain
the marinade through the fine strainer, reserving the liquids and solids
separately. Season the chicken with salt and pepper inside and out. In the
large Dutch oven, heat the oil and 2tablesppoons/28 g of the butter until
almost smoking, and then sear the chicken, turning it with the tongs to
evenly brown it. Once browned, it should be removed from the pot and set it
aside again. Add the reserved onions, celery, and carrot to the pot and cook
over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden
brown. That should take about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix well with the wooden spoon so
that the vegetables are coated. Now stir in the reserved strained marinade.
Put the chicken back in the pot, along with the bouquet garni. Cook this for
about 1 hour and 15 minutes over low heat.
Have a drink. You¹re almost there
While your chicken stews slowly in the pot, cook the bacon lardons in the
small sauté pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove the bacon from
the pan and drain it on paper towels, making sure to keep about 1
tablespoon/14 g of fat in the pan. Saute the mushroom tops in the bacon fat
until golden brown. Set them aside.
Now, in the small saucepan, combine the pearl onions, the pinch of sugar, a
pinch of salt, and 2tablespoons/28 g of butter. Add just enough water to
just cover the onions; then cover the pan with the parchment paper trimmed
to the same size of the pan. (I suppose you can use foil if you must.) Bring
to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated. Keep
a close eye on it. Remove the paper cover and continue to cook until the
onions are golden brown. Set the onions aside and add the remaining cup/225
ml of red wine along with salt and pepper and reduce over medium-high heat
until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Your work is pretty much done here. One more thing and then it¹s wine and
When the chicken is cooked through meaning tender, the juice from the
thigh running clear when pricked carefully remove from the liquid, cut
into quarters, and arrange on the deep serving platter. Strain the cooking
liquid (again) into the reduced red wine. Now just add the bacon, mushrooms,
and pearl onions, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and swirl in
the remaining 2 tablespoons/28 g of butter. Now pour that sauce over the
chicken and dazzle your friends with your brilliance. Serve with buttered
noodles and a Bourgone Rouge.