A friend of mine brought a bottle of Rex Goliath over, or, as we affectionately called it in college days, “Cock Wine” for the galumphing rooster on the label. Now, what should I use a big ol’ bottle of cock wine for? Maybe for some “coq au vin” eh?
I’ve never made coq au vin before, so I made ample preparation for leftovers – just in case everything went awry, I got ingredients for chicken salad so we could have sandwiches. No need – this came out beautifully. So well, in fact, that the Food Critic deemed the sauce “the best French Onion soup broth I’ve ever had. You should make Coq au Vin soup!” Hmm. I’m not sure if that’s exactly the taste I was going for but at least I know now what was missing from my French Onion soup recipe- lots and lots of alcohol.

By all definitions, I committed Coq au Vin sacrilege by omitting mushrooms (and some other things…), but honestly, I forgot them. And Food Critic isn’t a huge fan, so I didn’t bother making an extra trip to the store to pick them up (gas $$, you know). Whether or not this was “real” coq au vin, it was sooo good. This was delicious was a side of fettucine alfredo, but anything that would soak up the delicious sauce would work.

coq au vin-ish
based upon a recipe from bon appetit

Combine a bottle of dry red wine, 1 whole chicken cut into pieces, 2 sliced carrots, 2 sliced onions, 3 sliced celery stalks with leaves, 3 fresh thyme stalks, and 2 bay leaves. Let marinate 3-6 hours. Chop 5 slices of bacon and cook in a pot. Remove bacon from pot; add 1 1/2 cups chopped onions OR 1 1/2 cups cooked pearl onions to bacon fat and sautee until translucent. Remove onions to a pot. Remove chicken from marinade, salt and pepper, and brown in bacon fat. Layer all browned chicken pieces in pot, cover in marinade with vegetables, and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken and strain out vegetables. Add 1 cup of brandy (this is what I meant by alcohol). Thicken broth if desired using flour; return chicken, sauteed onions and bacon to pot. Simmer until heated through.