Modern Coq au Vin

Published November 1, 2006. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

To return this chicken stew recipe to its roots and to simplify it so we could serve it after only 90 minutes, we chose boneless thighs that became fall-apart tender in 25 minutes. To compensate for the flavor that was lost because of the shortened cooking time, we added chicken broth to wine… read more

To return this chicken stew recipe to its roots and to simplify it so we could serve it after only 90 minutes, we chose boneless thighs that became fall-apart tender in 25 minutes. To compensate for the flavor that was lost because of the shortened cooking time, we added chicken broth to wine and reduced this liquid before adding it to the stew. While the wine-broth mixture was simmering, we browned the meat and vegetables (onions and mushrooms) together, adding minced garlic, tomato paste, and crisped bacon to give our coq au vin recipe full flavor.

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Serves 4 to 6

A medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir or Rhône Valley Grenache is best for this recipe. Avoid bold, heavily oaked red wine varietals like Cabernet and light-bodied wines like Beaujolais. To use fresh pearl onions, trim the root and stem end of each onion and discard. Boil for 1 minute, shock in ice water, then peel a thin strip from root to stem. Remove any remaining outer skin (it's like peeling off a jacket). If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.) Serve the stew with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

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