Anyway, I was thrilled about the coq au vin and thrilled about the dutch oven. I even trucked down to Whole Foods to get better produce than that at my local grocery (which is 5 blocks and two avenues closer than WF). I used Ina Garten's recipe for the dish, deciding to hold off on Julia until boeuf bourguignon night. This was the right decision; the dish was simple, delicious, and flavorful. We paired it with roasted root vegetables (parsnip, turnip, and a few potatoes for good measure), which were surprisingly sweet and perfectly complimentary to the meal.
I ended up leaving out/altering just a few steps in the process, but tried to stick with the recipe. I couldn't find frozen pearl onions so I skipped them altogether, and I definitely guesstimated on the wine/chicken stock amounts. I also used one larger chicken instead of two smaller ones. The butcher at Whole Foods couldn't have been nicer when I brought over a whole chicken and asked him to cut it into eight pieces for me; lesson learned to never spend the money on packaged cut chickens!
Wright made me take this dorky picture of me with my new toy. Perhaps this will give you an idea of the size of my kitchen.
Coq au Vin
Adapted from Ina Garten
4 ounces bacon diced
1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut in eighths
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
3/4 bottle good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot, with plenty of wine to go around.