Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coq au Riesling

Love that coq au vin! Especially the recipe that Julia Child put into her classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," but making it is a bit of a hassle requiring three pans so when I saw this recipe for Coq au Riesling that could all be accomplished in a single skillet, I jumped at it.

One change I made to the basic recipe is that, when it suggests removing and discarding the skin after browning, I knew that no self-respecting French housewife would waste perfectly good chicken skin so I made cracklings from it as Jacques Pepin had taught me years ago, by laying the skin in a pan and baking it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. It came out crisp and most of the fat was rendered; I broke it into little pieces as garnish for the chicken (that's one of the pieces at the top of the dish, bathed in evening sunlight) and added some chopped green onion for color. The cracklings made a nice texture surprise in an otherwise soft dish.

My other deviation from the recipe was to use two slices of chopped bacon instead of pancetta (didn't have any pancetta on hand), so I omitted the butter and, even then, I took out several tablespoons of rendered fat before sauteeing the aromatics and adding the cream. It's still a very rich dish, even with the wine added to deglaze the pan.

It's a lovely Alsatian variation on the chicken-and-wine theme; My Beloved remarked on how good the house smelled while it was cooking as well as how delicious it tasted. Big success!

Coq au Riesling

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (I used more)
1-2 cloves garlic (next time, I'd use more)
6 mushrooms, sliced thickly (next time, I'd use more)
1 oz. pancetta (I substituted 2 rashers of bacon, chopped)
2 Tbs. butter (I omitted this and still had to remove some of the rendered fat)
4-6 chicken thighs, or mixed parts (I used all thighs)
Salt, Pepper to taste
1/2 cup good-quality Riesling
1/4 cup heavy cream
Nutmeg to taste (grated)

Melt the butter (or saute' the bacon) over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it renders its fat and browns. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, browning well on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side, and remove them to a warm plate. Remove the skin if you wish to save a few calories; it won't be crunchy in this procedure (this is the point at which I baked it to make cracklings).

In the butter (or bacon fat - remember to remove most of the fat if you use bacon) and chicken fat remaining in the skillet, cook the chopped onion and minced garlic until translucent and aromatic, add the mushrooms and saute' until soft. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom. Return the chicken to the pan with any accumulated juices, then pour in the cream. Bring back to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, increase heat to medium low so the sauce bubbles gently, and cook for a few more minutes until it reduces and thickens a little.. Grate a bit of nutmeg, check seasonings and serve. I served over noodles and we had a glass of the leftover Riesling with dinner.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh this variation with the Riesling sound sdivine! My brother loves coq au Vin, so I'll have to make this for him sometime soon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

Hmmm. I think I may have to do a little shopping tonight. That looks delicious.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I think it's a LOT prettier than traditional coq au vin made from red wine.
And your skin cracklin's tip! Thank you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Anonymous Honolulu Daily Photo said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Your blog is making me hungry. It's funny that you use to live in Hawaiʻi, because I use to live SF (in the avenues). Small world huh?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Sara, hope he enjoys it!

Dagny, it really was!

Cookiecrumb, the red wine version isn't that pretty but, man, is it ever tasty!

HDP, very small world, these days! Luckily, neither one of us lives so far that we can't visit from time to time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger Nerissa said...

Was this inspired by my mention of it earlier? Or is it uncanny coincidence? Oh... and that's true. It is a one dish wonder, that's how it was served to us by the waiter.

Friday, July 25, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nerissa, yes, your mention was the inpetus for me to go online researching recipes for this dish! Thank you, it was delish. I'm looking for the creme fraiche/bacon/onion pizza, too!

Friday, July 25, 2008  
Blogger katiez said...

Well, I've never used 3 pans to make coq au vin... But this looks wonderful. I've been looking for a chicken/white wine dish... Perfect!

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

KatieZ, Julia Child has you brown the mushrooms and onions separately, then add them to the chicken. I think you must actually lose a little flavor that way, but the result still is delicious!

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Brian Cooke said...

Interesting use of the skin. I always disliked how the skin on braised chicken became soggy and flaccid.

Sunday, January 03, 2010  
Blogger Brian Cooke said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sunday, January 03, 2010  

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