Meditrina’s Coq au Vin, photo by Adam Finkle
Coq means rooster, and that’s a clue to the nature of this dish—a tough old rooster requires long, slow cooking. These days, it’s most often made with chicken, browned then braised in red wine (traditionally Burgundy, but not necessarily), mushrooms, salt pork, onions and garlic.
Here is how Meditrina does it.
12-15 small cipollini onions
4 chicken thighs and legs, or 1 large chicken, cut into serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
8 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
20-30 medium-sized cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 (750-ml) bottles red Burgundy
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
8–10 cloves garlic
bundle of fresh thyme
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup butter
Slowly cook the bacon in a big sauté pan over medium heat until it is golden brown and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. In the same pan and fat, saute the onions and mushrooms. Remove from the pan and store in the fridge until ready for use.
Season the chicken on all sides. Place it into a big plastic bag with the flour and shake to coat it well. Brown chicken in the same bacon fat (you may need to add some olive oil) until deep golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a large enameled cast-iron pot.
Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with the brandy and 2 cups of the wine. Reduce by half. Pour this into the pot along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme. Add remaining wine. The chicken should
be almost covered.
Place the chicken (and the entire enameled cast iron pot) in the oven at 275 to 325 degrees and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender enough to fall off the bone. Make sure the chicken remains at a low simmer—no more.
Remove cooked chicken and keep it in a warm oven. Strain the sauce to remove the vegetables, then pour it in the pot and reduce by half. Add the bacon, onions and mushrooms and heat. Off-heat, whisk in the butter a little at a time. Add chicken.
-Mary Brown Malouf