This recipe is from Chez Allard, the famous Parisian bistro in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près. It is great for a party because it can be prepared a day or two before serving. In fact, coq au vin tastes even better when done ahead because the flavors have a chance to blend. Serve with steamed potatoes or noodles, a green salad, French bread, and the same red wine you used for cooking the chicken.
One 5-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces, or 5 pounds chicken pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil, or 2 tablespoons chicken fat
7 oz bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
3 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup Cognac or brandy
8 cups dry red wine
Bouquet garni: 1parsley sprig, 1 thyme sprig, 1 bay leaf tied in cheesecloth
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons flour
- Generously sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil and brown the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a Dutch over or a large casserole with a lid.
- In the same skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the chicken. Sauté the onions and garlic in the bacon fat for 5 minutes, or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion mixture to the chicken. Add the mushrooms to the same pan, season with salt, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the mushroom liquid evaporates. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
- Stir in the tomato paste and Cognac or brandy into the pan with the chicken, heat, and carefully ignite with a long-handled match. When the flames subside, pour in the red wine. Add the bouquet garni and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender when pierced with a fork.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a large bowl or plate.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and cook to reduce by half. In a small bowl, mash the butter with the flour to make a paste and whisk it into the sauce until smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and the mushrooms and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to heat through. Serve now, or cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Reheat to serve.
Makes 6 servings
by Sharon O'Connor