Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vintage Coq Au Vin Rouge Recipe

Back in the 70's my mom used to run a gourmet dinner club with a couple of her friends. Each meal was themed; French, Hawaiian, American Regional, Spanish, Italian and so on. My mother would call all around our small city to source just the right ingredients. Remember this was before the internet and before the advent of gourmet and specialty stores! One of her friends said she was meticulous about using just the right ingredients. She and her friends typed up all of the recipes and they even included decorating tips for the hostess. So sweet. This is the word-for-word Coq Au Vin Rouge recipe from the French menu. Enjoy!

Coq Au Vin Rouge (Chicken in Red Wine)
8 oz chunk of unsliced bacon (my note: this might be difficult to find these days so use regular bacon or prosciutto)
4 tbsp. of butter
Remove rind and cut bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4 inch across and 1 inch long.) Simmer for 10 minutes in boiling water. Rinse in cold water and dry. (My note: skip these steps if you aren't using a hunk of bacon.)
Saute bacon in hot butter until lightly browned in a large flameproof casserole or electric skillet (my note: hey it was the early 70s!). Remove bacon into a side dish.

4-5 whole chicken breasts, split in 8-10 peices
4-5 chicken drumsticks
4-5 second joint (my note: umm, that must be thighs?!)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 lb fresh mushrooms, washed and dried with stems cut off
1 lb. boiling onions (small size)

Rinse and dry chicken thoroughly. Brown it on all sides in the hot bacon fat. You may need two pan for this quantity. If so cook white meat and dark meat separately as dark meat cooks faster. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and onions. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until onions are tender and golden in color. Pour off all but 4 tbsp. of fat. 

6 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 cup brandy warmed slightly

Add the shallots and garlic, and cook slowly for a few minutes but do not allow to brown. Pour in brandy, and, with your face averted, ignite the brandy with a lighted kitchen match. Be sure you are not doing this under your overhead cabinets or you will have to call the Fire Dept.  Fish out the burned match which you will have dropped into the pan when the flames have subsided.

4 tbsp. flour
3 cups dry red wine (Earl from the wine shop has a 79 cent bottle which he says will do very nicely)
1 can Campbell's Beef Bouillon, undiluted
1 tbsp tomato paste

Stir the flour well into the pan juices. Mix wine, bouillon and tomato paste together and add slowly to the chicken, stirring as you go. Cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened. Put into a large casserole dish if you have been using an electric skillet. (my note: highly unlikely!)

6 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried or 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Sprinkle on the reserved bacon and the parsley, bay leaf and thyme. At this point, you may refrigerate the dish and do the final baking when the guests have arrived. Bake 45 minutes in pre-heated 350 degree oven. Remove parsley and bay leaf and serve sprinkled with fresh minced parsley.

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