Holiday Entertaining 2002

See Also
Main Courses: Chicken
  Coq au Vin

The Chef
Chef Philippe Roussel of Montparnasse

Serves 6

18 chicken legs and thighs (9 of each)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 rib of celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 large sprigs rosemary
4 large sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth
8 cups red wine (preferably Zinfandel)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cups veal demi-glace (concentrate available from Whole Foods Market and Williams-Sonoma; organic chicken stock can be substituted)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
24 to 30 pearl onions, peeled (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices
4 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
6 sprigs thyme or rosemary

Cooking Instructions
Put the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, leek, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large pot and cover completely with 5 cups of wine. Marinate in the refrigerator for 48 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.

Strain the vegetables and chicken from the wine, and separate them into two bowls. Reserve the marinade. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Allow the vegetables to drain and dry off.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until lightly smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, in batches to avoid overcrowding, and brown on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a large saucepan or casserole. Heat the remaining oil in the sauté pan, add the vegetables, and sauté over medium heat until they start to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the vegetables to the chicken pieces.

Meanwhile, put the reserved marinade in a saucepan and reduce by half. Add the remaining wine and the demi-glace to the saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Pour over the chicken, set the casserole over medium heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the chicken and vegetables from the liquid, discarding the vegetables, and keep the chicken warm. Return the sauce to the casserole and cook over medium heat until it is reduced by about two thirds and has thickened (it should coat the back of a wooden spoon). Whisk in the softened butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, return the chicken to the sauce and bring to a low simmer.

Transfer the coq au vin to a large serving platter and garnish with the pearl onions, bacon, mushrooms, and sprigs of thyme or rosemary. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Garnishes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium ovenproof sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil until lightly smoking, add the onions, and sauté until lightly brown. Add the chicken stock, cover the pan with foil, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the onions are tender when tested with the point of a knife.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in another sauté pan and cook the bacon until it's just golden brown; do not let it become crisp. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan until lightly smoking, then add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.