And so we tried.
The French were right. Coq au vin is something that is a must for every man and woman. So to feed four, go buy:
1 poulard of about 1.4 kg (I advise you to get ready-cut chicken breasts and legs, much easier)
salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100 g bacon, sliced
4 thyme branche
1 Tsp oil
3 Tsp butter
75 ml Cognac
1/2 l red wine (French, please)
2 bay leaves
200 g shallots
200 g mushrooms
1/2 bunch parsley
And now get a big pot and start cooking:
Fry the bacon in 1 Tsp oil and 1 Tsp butter. Set the bacon aside and fry the salted and peppered chicken parts in the bacon fat.
Set the chicken aside and fry onions and garlic in the same fat. Then return the chicken to the pot and draw it off the burner. Heat the cognac over a candle, pour over the chicken and ignite with a long match.
Let it burn and return the pot to the burner once the flames have gone out. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add thyme and bay leaves and let it stew for 25 minutes.
Use the time wisely and fry the shallots and the mushrooms first for about 2-3 minutes in a separate pan and then let it stew for another 10 minutes in the rest of the butter.
Add the bacon, season with salt and pepper and add the vegetables to the chicken. Stew for another 25 minutes.
Before serving, sprinkle some parsley over the chicken. But don't be disappointed if it still looks like big chunks of greyish putty. It is the taste that matters! Just close your eyes and be brave, it is rewarding.
We served it with rosemary potatoe halves fresh from the oven and beans. And I think I haven't eaten that much in a very long time. I was quite surprised that the wine is quite prominent without dominating the dish. That is what I had expected from the boeuf bourgignon. But I guess that cooking in wine for about 1 hour leaves more of its taste than marinating in wine over night. Who'd have known?
Resumé: Go, coq au vin, go! I love you!