Not much to report in the last few weeks other than I’ve been MIA again and that day job nightmares which I will spare the reader from reading are responsible for actual nightmares and my long absence… but finally I found a moment in the kitchen the day of New Year’s Eve. Just hours before 2016 this dish was in the making at my girlfriend’s house. The more common version of coq au vin is cooked in red wine, but this “white” version, at least in my “blanc” interpretation, used Riesling wine.
This german wine can range from dry to sweet. Accidentally, ours was a sweet Riesling. I had no clue what I was getting when I bought it. The bottle was nice and the price tag even nicer. The sweetness ended up pairing really well with the chicken. Chicken and sugar go well together and this case was no exception. Enough introductory blah blah. Let’s quickly go over how to prepare this thing and happy 2016!
4 chicken thighs skin on
4 chicken drumsticks skin on
2 ounces minced bacon
2 celery stalks small dice
3 medium carrots medium dice
1 white onion small dice
1/2 pound brown mushrooms
1/2 pound cipollini onions (I didn’t have any)
1 pound of fingerling potatoes
1/2 bottle Riesling wine (preferably dry)
2 Cups of low sodium chicken stock. Reduced to about 1/8 of a cup.
1/2 stick of unsalted butter.
4-6 thyme sprigs.
2 bay leafs.
salt and pepper to taste
Brown, brown, brown! This is the name of the game. Browning develops depth in the flavour of the ingredients. On a heavy skillet with a generous amount of vegetable oil, brown the chicken on the skin side until golden brown, then remove. The chicken won’t be fully cooked at this point so handle with caution. Do the same with the mushrooms and the perl onions. Toss the cooking oil when you’re done or reserve for another cooking adventure. Return the skillet to the stove. Add the chopped bacon and cook on medium high until golden brown. Once the fat is rendered, add the chopped veggies, add some salt and sweat until translucent and fragrant.
Reduce, reduce, reduce! Reducing the chicken stock ahead of time will save you some…. time. I start reducing the stock before I even start anything else. Once reduced to about 1/8 of a cup remove from the stove.
Microwave those taters. In a microwave friendly container, place the fingerling potatoes, cover with water, and add plenty of salt. I don’t measure it but it’s about 3 Tbsps. Microwave for about 20 mins checking every 5 mins after the first 10 min. Every microwave is different as are the containers people own, so really impossible to tell how long it really takes. Pierce with a toothpick until it goes right through the potato without much resistance. Replenish the water, make sure the potatoes are covered while you keep working on the rest of the recipe. The salty water will season them just right by the time you need them. Of course, you could cook the potatoes in the stew, but I don’t like soupy stews, and I find that timing the potatoes and the proper reduction of the liquids can be difficult for very little gain. If you leave the stew to rest in the fridge overnight, the flavours will develop and the potatoes will suck up that flavour.
Putting it all together. Add the wine to the skillet in which you were sweating the veggies. Add the mushrooms. Add the chicken skins side down so that the flavour in the browned side can be easily released when in contact with the wine and the stock. Add the wine. Add the stock. Add the thyme. Add the bay leafs. The liquid in the skillet shouldn’t cover the chicken. It should only come up to about half of the way. Adjust salt. Cook with a lid on medium heat for about 10 mins. This will ensure the chicken is cooked. Remove the lid and allow the liquids to reduce until they are about to get syrupy. Turn off the heat Add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and stir. You should have a nice sauce foundation at this point Remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leafs. You could add water if the sauce seems too thick.
and I ran out of pics here…
Some people remove the chicken skins from the stew because they can be soggy and whatever. I don’t. In fact, that’s the first thing I eat. Enjoy!