With culinary roots tracing all the way back to the days of Julius Caesar, coq au vin remains one of the most savory dishes you can serve.
Popularized in America by Julia Child, coq au vin had been on our “to cook” list for quite some time. Fortunately, the ingredients for this dish are widely available. Even in Mongolia, we had no difficulty putting everything together.
Although not strictly necessary, flaming the chicken leg and thigh with a shot of cognac gives this dish an especially savory, umami flavor. Doing likewise with the vegetables makes it all the better. Thus, Double Flamed Coq a Vin.
Double Flamed Coq a Vin
- 2/3 cup lardons or cubed, thick bacon
- olive oil
- 2 to 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs on the bone, patted dry. Preferably thigh and leg together.
- 1/2 cup cognac, separated in half
- smoked sea salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme, separated
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups dry red wine such as Burgundy, Syrah, etc.
- 2 cups chicken stock, canned or see recipe below
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 lb fresh mushrooms such as crimini, chopped large
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 medium carrots, chopped coarse
- 2 medium onions, chopped coarse
- 2 cups leaks chopped into generously thick (1 cm) cylinders
- Salt and pepper chicken. Let rest.
- Add olive oil and bacon to a sauté pan with high sides and heat over medium-high burner. When bacon is rendered, remove and set aside.
- Add the chicken to sizzling hot oil and bacon fat and sear on all sides, using tongs to move the chicken.
- When the chicken is seared brown, add 1/4 cup cognac. Make sure the area is cleared, your hair is tied back, and a lid is handy to smother the flames, if necessary. Light the cognac and let it burn itself out.
- Return bacon to pan and add red wine, chicken broth, bay leaf, 1/4 tsp of thyme and garlic. Simmer to allow liquids to cook down somewhat – about 1/2 hour.
- In a stock pot, add butter and olive oil and heat on medium-high burner. Add onions, carrots, salt, pepper, and 1/4 tsp thyme. Stir occasionally. When onions and carrots just begin to soften, add leaks and mushrooms and continue cooking till just tender.
- Add 1/4 cup cognac and flame.
- Vigorously stir in flour, adding more butter or olive oil, if necessary.
- Add liquid from chicken to the vegetables in the stockpot and stir together so that the flour mixes to thicken the liquid. Add chicken and additional seasonings to taste.
- Serve on a bed of wide pasta such as pappardelle.
Chicken Stock from Scratch
- 2 lbs chicken bones and trimmings, chopped to expose marrow
- smoked sea salt
- 12 whole peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp sage
- 1 medium onion, chopped coarse
- 1 medium carrot, chopped coarse
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped coarse
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- water to cover all
- Use a meat tenderizer or heavy chopping knife to crack and break chicken bones so that marrow is exposed.
- Add ingredients to a stock pot. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Strain broth through a fine wire strainer. Use fresh or freeze.