When I woke up to snow and frost this past Sunday, all I could think of was bundling up with a good book and some warming comfort food. Alas, I had to get up at 5:30 am (as is my habit) and go to work. But the notion of making one last big pot of comfort food stayed with me. After skimming a recent issue of Jamie Oliver's magazine, (okay, it was the Feb/March issue but it was SNOWING) I kept coming back to the notion of a coq au Riesling.
The idea of cooking chicken in wine--Riesling in particular--seems to be quite popular right now. I made a dish with similar ingredients from Sunset magazine around the Christmas holiday. But frankly, even more than the weather, Jamie Oliver's recipe offered one delicious excuse to let a chicken drink up a bottle of Finger Lake's finest.
So I went out to the raised bed (through the blowing snow) and cut some thyme sprigs, brought up two bottles of Red Newt Riesling from the basement, made a bouquet garni with what I had in the vegetable crisper, and proceeded to pour one of the bottles of wine over the cut up chicken. Ideally, it would marinate overnight, but I figured 6am would allow for enough time--nearly 12 hours.
And oh my was it good! The dish was easy and uncomplicated and truly, there is nothing like having the sweet aroma of chicken soaked in Riesling permeating the house. Top it off by pouring a glass of Riesling for yourself and break off some crusty bread to soak up the sauces and, who cares what the weather is doing outside?
Coq Au Riesling (adapted from Jamie Oliver Magazine)
- 1 chicken, cut up into 8-10 pieces (I like to cut my chicken breast pieces in half)
- 1 bottle of Riesling wine
- 1 bouquet garni (celery stem, bay leaf, and a sprig each of flat-leaf parsley and thyme, tied with kitchen string)
- olive oil
- 3-4 slices of thickly sliced bacon (cut into cubes).
- 8 oz of button mushrooms (white or cremini will work)
- 12 small pearl onions, peeled
- 1 tablespoon flour
- egg noodles to serve--garnished with finely chopped parsley
1. Marinate the chicken overnight, or at least 12 hours, in the wine and bouquet garni.
2. Heat oil (enough to coat) in large frying pan. Remove chicken from the marinade (reserve marinade and bouquet garni), pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown pieces on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
If necessary, add more oil to pan. Add bacon and saute for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and onions and saute another 5 minutes, or until softened.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer bacon-mushroom mixture to a large, cast-iron casserole with a lid. Add the chicken, place on medium heat, then add flour and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil.
(If you don't have a dish that can take heat on top of the stove, make a slurry with the flour--in a small bowl add flour with a couple tablespoons of juice from the frying pan, stir till incorporated-- and pour back into frying pan. Add reserved wine to pan and bring to a boil. Then pour the wine mixture into your casserole pan with the chicken and continue.)
4. Season, add bouquet garni and stir well. Cover, transfer dish to oven and cook for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened. Alternatively, simmer over low heat for same amount of time. If the chicken is tender and cooked but the sauce needs thickening, take the chicken out of the sauce and boil to reduce.
5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with egg noodles.