Coq au Vin

From France: the beautiful cookbook

4-lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces
Freshly ground salt and pepper
6 tbsp. flour
Bouquet garni: 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 8 sprigs parsley
3 oz. bacon
24 button mushrooms
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 oz. butter
24 small pickling onions, peeled
2 tbsp. cognac
3 c. red Burgundy, such as Chambertin
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 pinches freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. sugar
Croutons for serving

Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.  Spread the flour on a plate and roll the chicken pieces in it, shaking off the excess.  Tie together the herbs for the bouquet garni. Cut the bacon into fine matchsticks, removing the rind.  Wash and trim the mushrooms.

Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot and add the butter.  Cook the onions, bacon, and mushrooms until softened, then remove and set aside.  Brown the chicken on all sides for about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle in the cognac and ignite, shaking the pot gently until flames subside.  Pour in the wine and stir in the bouquet garni, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sugar.  Bring to simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring from time to time.  Add the mushroom mixture and cook 30 minutes longer.

Remove the cooked chicken pieces from the pot and arrange on a serving platter.  Remove the bouquet garni and let the sauce boil over high heat for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately, accompanied by croutons.


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