Wednesday, September 8, 2010
1 Recipe #168: Coq au Vin
Of course, this recipe is the French classic, Coq au Vin, which we had for tonight's dinner. You'll notice that my version of this dish has a few marked differences from its traditional incarnation. Namely, there are no garlic cloves, pearl onions, or "oink" in my version.
Since the recipe already contains olive oil & a bit of butter, [well, let's face it, the original version has a TON of butter, like a lot of traditional French cuisine (!), but anyhow...], I thought it'd be a good idea to reduce the fat content to keep the recipe within healthy limits. :)
Also, due to the fact that this recipe already calls for both onions AND shallots, I thought it best not to overdo it by adding garlic and yet more onions (i.e., the aforementioned pearl onions, which I honestly think, due to their size & texture, belong in cocktails instead of entrées). It's OK to use two out of the three, but adding all three would be overpowering. A dish like this isn't meant to hit you over the head; its flavor is supposed to be rich but subtle.
There are many different versions of Coq au Vin, including several that omit a few of the above ingredients, so it's not like this recipe is exactly nontraditional. :)
Hope you enjoy this French favorite. We certainly did. :)
Coq au Vin
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, well-rinsed, defatted, and patted dry
1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 c. yellow onion, peeled & sliced into thin (1/4" thick) crescent slivers (about 1/2 large onion)
1 Tbsp. fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
1/2 tsp. ground sage (or dried sage leaves)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
Directions: After washing, defatting, & drying chicken cutlets, lay them onto a non-porous (i.e., silicone) cutting board or other smooth, clean surface. Cover chicken with plastic wrap, and tenderize by pounding flat with the bumpy (i.e., waffle-patterned) side of meat mallet to a uniform thickness of about 1/4". After chicken has been tenderized, cut each piece crosswise into thirds.
Chef's Notes: If you find that the wine's evaporating too quickly during the deglazing process, it's perfectly OK to add more. :) Also, it's very important to brown the chicken before adding it back to the pan for a second time; it really does make a huge difference in the flavor & texture of the dish.
Variations: Some versions of this recipe also feature carrots & potatoes, which you could certainly add if you'd like. I've also seen recipes incorporating tomato sauce, although I personally don't care for this addition in this particular dish. If you prefer, you can substitute garlic for the shallots for a stronger flavor; if you do this, I'd recommend using about 1-2 large cloves, finely minced.