"I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food."
This famous Julia Child quote is also probably my culinary mantra. Because wine (and other alcohol) can be a powerful flavor extractor. Alcohol's ability to carry flavors can be a great asset to cooks. Wine can add brightness to vegetables and deep concentration to meats. And wine gives a complex acidity to any dish. Wine is also just really enjoyable to drink.
With this dish, you get the chance to do both. You're welcome.
|I used a California Chardonnay. I hope France will understand.|
And bring on Spring!
White Wine Coq Au Vin
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 tsp herbes de Provence
4 slices bacon (1/4 lb), chopped
1 1/2 lbs boned, skinned chicken thighs
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups peeled baby carrots
3 stalks celery
1 medium onion
1 1/3 cups Chardonnay
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh tarragon sprigs
Baguette for serving (optional)
1. In a plastic bag, shake flour with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and the herbs de Provence; set aside.
|Ye old faithful ziploc bag. Perfect to toss the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture.|
2. In a 5- to 6-qt pan over medium-high heat, brown bacon, stirring occasionally, 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile, cut chicken into 1-in chunks, then shake half at a time in flour to coat.
3. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon from pan to paper towels. Brown half the chicken in bacon fat, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding oil to pan. Meanwhile, cut carrots in half lengthwise and cut celery into diagonal slices. Chop onion.
|Add the "spiked" broth to the sautéed vegetables.|
4. Add vegetables to pan with remaining salt and pepper and saute until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, microwave wine and broth until steaming, about 3 minutes.
|Everything tastes better with bacon, right?|
5. Add broth mixture, chicken and bacon to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop parsley and tarragon. Stir them into stew. Plate and serve with a crusty baguette. Serves 4.
|Fresh parsley and tarragon add a wonderful dimension of brightness to the stew.|