Coq au vin or Chicken in Wine

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Today is my Birthday. I will be 50 years old.

Wait, maybe it is 51?


I am not sure, you see I never tell the truth about my age, so I tend to forget when I was actually born.

I would normally be working at my day job but today is a holiday, for most State employees like myself. Good thing too because it is my birthday after all. You see, I work in the Pretreatment and Pollution Division of a regulatory agency here in Virginia. If we get a call, we have to investigate, no matter what the weather or birthday status.

It was 15 degrees here the other day. It has been bone chilling cold. Way to cold to be outside for any length of time.

Today is one those days you want to curl up with a blanket and just veg on the couch watching Netflicks. Perhaps eating some chocolate birthday cake? I have been doing a lot of this lately with Monkey Girl. It is days like this I long for something long simmering, steady and rich. Something comforting to warm the soul.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love French food. I am not talking about the hard to make sauces, I mean peasant food, ones with easy to find ingredients and depth of flavor. This you can only achieve by a long slow simmer. Chicken and wine come to mind so why not make a classic.

On a day when you are inside snuggled under a blanket perhaps watching the marathon of Walking Dead is ideal. Even better are the leftovers either brought to lunch the next day or enjoy again for dinner a few days later.

Coq au vin

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces bacon
8 chicken thighs bone in
1 pound carrots rughly chopped
20 small white onions peeled (I used frozen already peeled)
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups red wine I used Beaujolais
2 cups chicken or beef stock
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 pound porcini or cremini mushrooms

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat oil in a dutch oven on medium. Add the bacon and cook 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot in a single layer. Brown in batches if necessary. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and add to the plate with the bacon. Add the carrots, onions, bay and thyme. Cook another 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the brandy and allow to cook down 3-4 minutes. Put the chicken and bacon back into the pan. Add the wine and stock. Bring to a boil cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven. Allow to cook 1 hour. Remove from the oven. Mash the butter with the flour and add to the pot along with the mushrooms. Put the pot back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Serve hot makes great leftovers. I love to serve mine with mashed potatoes

Peace be with you,

Vonnie