Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Weeknight" Coq au Vin

I knew, going into it, that the allegedly weeknight coq au vin was probably not actually a weeknight recipe. That's why I cooked it on Sunday. And I wasn't wrong -- it took me about two hours from start to eating, and while I could probably get that down a bit with practice, it's not ever going to be a recipe I have time for most weeknights. That being said, there's a lot of downtime in this recipe, so if your problem with weeknight cooking is energy rather than time, it could work. Else, wait for the weekend.

It starts by boiling down a mixture of bacon and onion while the chicken roasts in the oven. I used pre-diced pancetta, which worked fine, but it may have been better to use actual bacon to get both a larger dice and a bit more fat. Once it had boiled down and the onions had caramelized, it's time to add the chicken, mushrooms, carrot, and wine. This is where it took me longer than it had to -- it took longer than 20 minutes for the bacon/onion boil to boil down and for the onions to caramelize, so I had to wait to toss in the chicken. Next time, it may work better to start the boil first (or maybe just have the onion chopped beforehand).

Complaints about prep time aside, I really liked this dish. The chicken was juicy with a nice depth of flavor, and the sauce was good. The diced pancetta was a bit chewier than ideal; again, next time, I'll use bacon. We paired this with sauteed cauliflower, whose subtlety matched well with the flavor-forward nature of the chicken.

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