When the weather begins to cool, I like to make Coq au Vin. The red wine and bacon enhance the sauce in which the chicken is cooked. It's really tender and the scent in the house is fantastic. I keep it simple and serve a green salad topped with goat cheese, toasted walnuts in a walnut vinaigrette. A great food pairing.
Ingredients: (serves 4 to 6)
1 chicken, cut up or simply buy separate parts (be sure to leave the bone in for flavor), I remove the skin
3 strips of thick cut bacon, diced
1 med yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 -6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths (you may need to slice some in half if they are thick)
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 T tomato paste
2 T flour (I used Spelt)
1 Bottle red wine, a red blend or pinot noir is good
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
You will need one dutch oven in which all the ingredients will fit.
Prepare all the ingredients and have them ready.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Heat the dutch oven over med low heat, add the bacon and cook until the bacon is browned and the fat has been rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel.
Turn the heat to medium.
Season the chicken lightly with salt (not too much since there was salt in the bacon). Brown the chicken on both sides. Do this in batches so you don't crowd the pot. Set the chicken that has been browned on a plate.
Add the onions and the carrots to the pan. Stir frequently. Once the onions are soft and begin to become translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and stir until it coats the vegetables. About 1 minute. Now add the wine and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 3-4 minutes or until you can no longer smell the alcohol.
Next add the tomato paste and stir to break it up and dissolve it in the wine.
Put the chicken into the pot, nestle it in the broth and carrots. Add the thyme and the bay leaves and the bacon. Cover with a lid.
Put the pot into the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check the chicken after 45 minutes. If it is tender and shrinking away from the bone then remove it from the oven. Let it rest with the lid off for about 15-20 minutes before serving. (keep in mind if you have a warming drawer, you may move this to the warming drawer and let it sit for 1 hour before serving.)