Coq au Vin and the art of butchering!

So last night I butchered a chicken for the first time. Okay, I didn’t actually go out and butcher a chicken, our farm friend next door did that (he gave us a whole chicken when we got our side of beef). But, in order for me to make Coq au Vin properly (according to Julia Child) I had to cut up the chicken. That means I had to saw through the leg bones, hack off the wings and slice off the breast meat. I would have taken a picture of my final product, but here’s the thing….

The whole chicken I received wasn’t exactly whole. There was no head. However, the neck was still attached. It was disturbing. I didn’t know what to do. So, I broke off each leg, and then sliced off the breasts and then quickly discarded the carcass. I’m embarrassed to say I wasted alot of meat. I guess I should have saved the whole chicken and roasted it, and used already cut up parts for this recipe instead. But…after the guilt subsided, I went to work.
Of course, my version of this does not include mushrooms. They would have been an awesome addition, and made the meal complete…but then nobody would have eaten it except me and Cassidy. So, our mushroomless Coq au Vin turned out fantastic anyways, even picky Tessa had a few nibbles of meat without gagging on it (and that’s something)! I was a little worried about the level of difficulty, but as it turned out, it was quite easy. I served it up with some steamed brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes (Julia recommended parsley potatoes, but I had to make it my own somehow).

Coq au Vin
by Shugary Sweets
Keywords: saute entree bacon chicken
  • 1 whole fryer chicken, cut up (I used two legs and two breasts; skin on)
  • 4 oz of lean bacon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste (I used ketchup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups red wine (I used Chianti)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • fresh parsley, snipped
Saute bacon pieces in large skillet until crispy. Remove from skillet and lay chicken in bacon grease (on medium) fat side down. Cook until both sides are browned, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken.
Saute garlic and onions in remaining grease (and olive oil if necessary) for 2-3 minutes. Pour wine and chicken stock into skillet (with garlic and onions), using a whisk to scrape the browned bits off the bottom. Add in the chicken and bacon.
Add tomato paste, bay leaf, salt and pepper (generously). Turn heat to simmer, cover and allow to cook for about one hour. Remove bay leaf.
Before serving, blend butter and flour together into a smooth paste. Beat the paste into the hot gravy with a whisk. Allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with egg noodles, parsley potatoes and a green vegetable. Enjoy!
(adapted slightly from Julia Child)
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One Response to “Coq au Vin and the art of butchering!”

  1. posted Feb 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    This coq au vin looks fabluous! I had hoped to have a chance to make coq au vin this month, but I ran out of time.

    Thanks so much for submitting it for Kitchen Bootcamp!

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