French food has a bad reputation of being fussy and difficult to make (and some of it definitely is), but not all French cuisine is that way! I really think that the divide is between ‘city food’ and ‘country food;’ I’m no expert, but all the recipes that I’ve tried that are described as ‘Provencal’ or from the French country-side have been straight forward and delicious. That’s really where the best cooking anywhere comes from: a grandma out in the country side, cooking up a storm with fresh, local ingredients.
Coq au vin is a wonderful and simple braise that you can do all in one pot! I added potatoes to the traditional veggies to bulk it up and make it an ‘all in one’ sort of a meal. Another break from the original dish is that I scrapped the pearl onions in my recipe. I hate dealing with those fiddly little goobers, and they’re WAY more expensive than regular onions. I would only use them if I had both unlimited time and unlimited grocery budget. And since we’re in fantasy land I’d also have a separate walk-in-closet to fill with shoes, and yarn…
Whether you’re a Francophile or French cooking wary, give this coq au vin recipe a try!
Coq au Vin
Serves 3-4 – cost approx $1.36 per serving
- 3 slices bacon, thinly sliced ($.25)
- 3-4 piece of chicken, your preference – I got a good deal on thighs, but use what you have/like ($1.50)
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 onion, medium dice ($.13)
- 3 carrots, peeled, large dice ($.20)
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 2 lb red potatoes, halved – any type of potato besides russets would be great in this dish ($2)
- 1/2 tsp dry thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups red wine ($.23, mine comes from a box)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbs butter, room temperature ($.19)
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1 Tbs parsley, minced
Begin by cooking the bacon in a large, shallow pot. When the bacon is crisp, take out the bacon pieces, leaving the fat in the pan. Season the chicken pieces on each side with the salt and pepper then sear all over in the hot bacon fat. When the chicken is browned, remove from the pan and let it hang out with the bacon while you build the braising sauce.
Saute the onion and carrots next, about 5 minutes. Add in the red wine to deglaze the pan. Add in the bay leaf, garlic clove, potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add back the chicken pieces. Simmer everything together for 30 minutes or until the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked through. (This may take more or less time depending on which pieces of chicken you choose and how big your potato chunks are.) Keep the pot uncovered so the liquid can reduce.
To finish the dish, we need to thicken it up a bit. Fish out the bay leaf and garlic clove. Smoosh the butter and flour together to form a paste then stir it into simmering pot. It should thicken up in a minute or two. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon and dig in!