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Coq Au Vin (Chicken In Red Wine Sauce)

Sharon Klay recommends making this with one of her dry, red wines. We used Jumonville Glen Red. She also recommends serving the same type of wine with the dish that is used in the preparation.

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whole 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut up, trimmed of excess fat, then rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

Soak dried porcini mushrooms in hot water to cover while you proceed with the recipe.

Heat the two tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet, Dutch oven or casserole. Put the flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot (a pinch of flour will sizzle), dredge the chicken pieces in the flour (thighs first, followed by drumsticks, then finally breasts and wings), shaking off any excess. As you coat the pieces, add them to the oil and brown on all sides.

Regulate the heat so that the oil bubbles but is not so hot that it will burn the chicken. (You can skip this browning step if you like, as noted in the story; heat the oil and go directly to cooking the mushrooms.)

When the chicken is nicely browned, remove it from the skillet and turn the heat to medium. Pour off all the fat and add the butter or additional oil. A minute later, add the white mushrooms.

Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to darken, about 5 minutes. Drain the porcini and reserve their liquid. Chop the mushrooms and add them and a little of their liquid (pour carefully, or strain it first if it is gritty), along with the onions, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the bay leaf, wine, parsley, the remaining mushroom-soaking liquid, and the chicken. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cool, turning the pieces every 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes (longer if you skipped the browning step). Remove the cover. If the sauce is too watery, raise the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then garnish and serve. Makes 4 servings.

"How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman

Thursday, December 13, 2001

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