Monday, June 15, 2009

Coq au vin

**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet. However, a gluten-free flour could be used to coat the chicken (or this step could be omitted entirely).**

coq au vin, adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
I've been curious about coq au vin (chicken in wine) since Casey made it on Top Chef several seasons ago. Recipes for this French dish keep popping up, and it has slowly made its way up my "to make" list, and finally reached the top. Perhaps it's because, as I mentioned before, this month's cookbook of the month ("How to Cook Everything") is a great guide for many classic dishes. Mark Bittman was once again my guide through this adventure.

Coq au vin (adapted from "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman)

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup whole white wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

Cover dried porcinis with hot water, and set aside while you prepare the chicken. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a plate, dredge chicken in this mixture, and brown chicken in the oil (a few minutes per side). Remove the chicken and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil to skillet, and then add fresh mushrooms. Let them cook until they begin to get dark (about 5 min). While the fresh mushrooms are cooking, chop porcinis (but save their soaking water). Stir porcinis, 1/4 cup of their soaking water, onion, garlic, and thyme into skillet and cook about 5 min. Add tomatoes and cook another 5 min. Finally, stir in the rest of the mushroom soaking water, bay leaf, wine, and parsley. Place the chicken in this mixture, cover, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let this simmer until chicken is done (about 25 min), turning chicken a few times. Serves 3.

This was good, and I would definitely call it rustic (just as the Top Chef judges did). It reminded me a lot of chicken cacciatore, which isn't surprising given that that the chicken is browned and then braised with wine, tomatoes, and mushrooms in both dishes. The only big difference is with the herbs: chicken cacciatore uses many of the traditional Italian herbs, while coq au vin uses the French ones. I would leave out the dried mushrooms next time - they didn't add much, and there were already plenty of fresh mushrooms. I'm glad this finally reached the top of my list and I can say that I've experimented with another classic recipe.


Julia said...

It's funny you mention the similarities between coq au vin and chicken cacciatori. I feel that way about my coq au vin and beef bourgoginon. Exact same recipe, just different meat.

Katie said...

You make a great point, Julia. Hmmm... I wonder how many "classic dishes" use this same basic recipe.

Alta said...

I love a good coq au vin. In the past, I've used Julia Child's recipe - which is quite tasty. But I usually appreciate Mark Bittman's approach to things, so I may have to try this one! Looks comforting.

Katie said...

Alta - I'm sure you can't go wrong with Julia's recipe, but I'm guessing it's a tad bit more complicated. This was definitely comforting :)