When one goes to culinary school, the basic, French-cooking techniques are essential to master. Coq au vin, (pronounced coke-oh-vahn) is a classic French dish that all home cooks should learn. Tender poultry, mushrooms, onions, and bacon are cooked together in red wine. The final result is a marvelous meal, perfect for a cold Winter night. For two recipes — one that's simple and another that's more difficult — to choose from
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. small cremini or white mushrooms
1 3/4 oz. package garlic-and-herb salad-dressing mix (such as Good Seasons)
1 cup frozen small onions (such as Birds Eye), thawed
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup canned chicken broth (such as Swanson Natural Goodness)
1 2-lb.cooked chicken breast (such as Tyson) or 1 chicken cooked and cut into 2 breasts and 2 legs (discard backbone)
- Heat the oil in a large oven-safe casserole over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the salad-dressing mix and onions and toss to coat evenly.
- Stir in the wine and broth and cook until blended.
- Add the chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, turning pieces halfway through.
- Remove the chicken and vegetables.
- Increase heat to high and boil the sauce until reduced and slightly thickened. Pour over the chicken.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 467(0% from fat); FAT 20g (sat 5g); PROTEIN 49mg; CHOLESTEROL 131mg; CALCIUM 40mg; SODIUM 1850mg; FIBER 1g; CARBOHYDRATE 9g; IRON 2mg
6 slices bacon
2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups pearl onions, peeled
2 cups mushrooms
2 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
1 bottle Burgundy wine
2 cups chicken broth
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
3 bay leaves
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- In a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Coat chicken pieces in flour, salt, and pepper. Brown chicken in hot bacon fat on both sides.
- Add garlic, onions, mushrooms, and carrots. Saute 2 minutes to soften.
- Pour cognac into a small glass. Remove pan from heat, pour in cognac, Flambe by lighting a long match and holding it just above the pot, light the fumes. The brandy will catch fire and the flames will burn out within 1 minute.
- When the flames die down, return the pan to the heat and gradually stir in the wine and broth.
- When the wine is well blended, add the herbs.
- Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove cover and continue to simmer for 15 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce a bit. You may want to add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or cornstarch to aid in the thickening process.
- To serve, top the chicken and vegetables with reserved crumbled bacon and fresh parsley.