Coq au Vin is a classic French peasant dish traditionally prepared with rooster. In this version, we use chicken legs which are not only easier to find but also require a fraction of the cooking time. The earthiness of the stew pairs perfectly with the Kendall-Jackson 2006 Grand Reserve Pinot Noir. This is a great dish for a cold winter’s night and while the preparation might seem a little daunting at first, the end result is well worth the effort! Recipe by Chef Eric Frischkorn
8 chicken legs
2 Tbsp. oil
2 yellow onions, diced large
3 celery stalks, diced large
2 carrots, diced large
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bottle Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir
1 bunch thyme, plus a few sprigs picked, chopped and reserved for garnish
10 black peppercorns
½ bunch parsley, chopped fine and stems reserved
2 bay leaves
1 6-inch square cheesecloth
4 C. white chicken stock
6 oz. slab bacon, diced medium
8 oz. small button mushrooms
8 oz. pearl onions
¼ C. all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Day prior to serving:
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken skin-side down and sear until golden brown, but not cooked through. Remove chicken and add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until they begin to caramelize. Deglaze the pan by adding ¼ C. wine, making sure to scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Prepare sachet by wrapping thyme sprigs, peppercorns, parsley stems and bay leaves in cheesecloth. Secure with twine.
In a plastic container, add the chicken, vegetables, sachet and remaining wine. Allow to cool and then refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 300˚.
Strain the chicken and vegetables and reserve the wine. Place wine in braising pan and reduce to approximately 1 C. Add chicken stock, chicken, vegetables and sachet and bring to a light simmer. Cover and place in oven for 1 hour or until tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. In a 6-quart sauce pot, add bacon and cook over medium heat. Once the fat has rendered, add the mushrooms and pearl onions. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir the roux until it gives off a nutty aroma and begins to brown lightly.
Remove braising pan from oven and place the chicken on a warm plate. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve and discard the sachet and vegetables. Pour the liquid into the pot with the roux and whisk rapidly. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, carefully skimming any solids that may rise to the surface. Season with salt, pepper and some of the remaining chopped parsley and thyme. Place chicken over egg noodles or mashed potatoes and garnish with a heaping ladle of sauce…..enjoy.