This is one of my all time favorite dishes; coq au vin. I always make it with chicken, originally you should use rooster, but hey, I haven't found one supermarket offering rooster these last decennia.
An important note on that; do NOT cook untill the meat falls from the bone! Also, there are probably all kinds of other recipes, but this is the one I make and it's inspired on a lot of advice and hints from others.
Another thing; if you can, make this the day before, it will taste so much better the next day, and you will be able to be with your guests instead of labouring in your kitchen!
I made this with just 1 chicken and I won't give exact measures, it doesn't matter how much of anything you use.
The chicken has to marinate a whole night, so this is something you need to do the day before.
Cut the chicken in your very own style in small parts, but leave the bones on. I always take the skin off too; a slowly simmered chickenskin is disgusting imo.
Cover with wine. A midpriced new-world good red will do. I used a whole 75 cl bottle minus the glass I drank. Add a bay leave, a few all spice corns, a little salt, pepper corns, a sprig of thyme and every thing else you like to be in there.
> Next day;
- Blanche some small white onions (we call these "silver onions") one minute in boiling water . This will make it a lot easier to peel them. Leave to cool.
- In the same cooking water, blanche some bacon cubes for 1-2 minutes. Leave to cool. You can use lightly smoked bacon. I used fresh belly pork. Smoked is better! Leave pork to cool also.
- In the same cooking water; blanche quartered mushrooms for 1 minute. Leave to cool.
- Measure 1/2 litre (1 lb) of that cooking water and put it through a very fine sieve. Add 1 chicken bouillon cube, or the amount necessary to make 1/2 litre bouillon. Alternative; of course, your very own nice chickenstock. I didn't have any chickenstock left, so I shamelessly used a bouillon cube like everyone else.
- Fry these onions, bacon, mushrooms seperately one after the other in a pan. Season all of these while frying with s&p. Set aside.
- Take chicken out of the marinade (preserve!) and dry the meat with papertowl. Fry the chicken in the same pan, a few pieces at a time. S & p while frying! Since the skin is off, they will not brown a lot. Put the fried pieces of meat in a pot. Alternate layers of meat with onions, bacon, mushrooms.
- After all meat has been browned and in the pot, put 2 small tbsp of flour in the pan and let fry a little while stirring. Add the bouillon and some marinade and keep stirring. Let it simmer for a while. Pour this liquid over the meat in the pot. Warm the rest of the marinade in the pan and pour over the meat untill the meat is just barely covered.
- Add a dash of cognac and a tbsp of tomato puree. Let simmer.
- From this moment; cooking time no longer than 45 minutes!!
- I poured the sauce in another pot and let it reduce to my liking.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. I added approx. 1/2 cup of homemade basil infused white wine vinegar, to adjust the acidity. You can use red wine vinegar, or your own preferred vinegar. Just keep tasting while adding a bit at a time.
- Pour the sauce over the meat again.
I served this with "pommes parisiènnes"; simply cut out balls from potatoes, boil for 5-8 minutes, let cool and fry in a pan untill done.