Coq au vin (with green beans and fresh pain au levain), as it turned out, was my early Valentine’s Day dinner for Sarah. After waffling for a while, I ended up looking at a couple of recipes, doing some reading about the theory behind the dish, then coming up with my own method. I’d always been told that it was complicated and time consuming, but in the end it was actually pretty simple. It came out super tasty, and from what I can tell, pretty authentic. Here is a pic:
8 chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
4 pieces of prosciutto
2 celery sticks, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped fine.
1/2 onion, sliced
6 whole cloves of garlic
20 pearl onions, peeled
20 button mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
1/2 cup broth
2 1/2 cups red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
parsley & 2 bay leaves, in a tea bag or cheese cloth bag
2 tbsp buerre marnier (1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour, mashed together)
Heat a deep pan — a saute pan or dutch oven — over medium heat, and add your olive oil and butter. Coarsely chop the prosciutto and cook until brown, then remove from the pan and reserve, being sure to leave the flavored fats behind. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown lightly — about 1.5 minutes on each side — then remove from the pan and reserve.
Add your celery, carrots, sliced onions, garlic, mushroom stems, and dried thyme to the pan and allow to saute for about five minutes. Then add the cooked prosciutto back in, along with your broth.
When the broth comes to a boil (which should be very quick), add the wine, along with your browned chicken, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and the bag of parsley and bay leaves. Agitate so that everything gets mixed together, then when the mixture comes to a boil again, cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and braze for 30 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add the mushrooms and pearl onions and continue to cook.
After 30 minutes, remove the chicken, turn the heat to high, add your buerre marnier, and cook until the sauce thickens.
Add the chicken back in, garnish with more fresh chopped parsley, and serve in the pan.