Rainy Days Call for Comfort Food

The Weather Outside is Frightful..But the Fire & Coq au Vin are Delightful!
Start by assembling the ingredients

Everyday chicken can turn into a marvelous meal when a few extra steps are taken.  On these blustery rainy week-end days, when the wind blows and the rain or drizzle keeps us indoors then why not spend a little extra time in the kitchen?  Hmmmm it smells so good… On this rainy week-end one of our favorites Coq au Vin is a flavorful and hearty dish which easily stands on its own with a baguette, tossed salad side dish.  This meal can be dressed “up” or “down” and tastes yummy at the kitchen table or in front of the fireplace as a cozy dinner for two.  The prep time is a bit longer than some of our recipes, but in addition to the resulting delightful meal the wonderful cooking aromas that will float through your house  make it all worth the effor, besides… what else do you do on a rainy day?? 

Costs for this luscious meal is  under $20.00 which  includes a good French Rhone – if you keep some normal cooking staples at home.  If you have to shop for the brandy or cognac which the recipe calls for … your costs bump up a bit.  Those of you that have been following us for a while know that Rick and I have made cost-effective dining… or elegant dining  on a “shoe string” the focus of our website Winetrivia.net We also highlight everyday family dishes that are great for weekends when we all have a bit more time to gather around the table.

Ready for the kitchen table... and a hungry crowd.
Ready for the kitchen table... and a hungry crowd.



4 slices bacon    2 chicken breasts  2 thighs 2 legs    (we prefer to use all thighs)
1/2 cup flour
Salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups pearl onions peeled (we use 12 pearl onions)
2 cups mushrooms (8 buttons quartered)
2 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup brandy or Cognac (we use brandy)
1 bottle Burgundy wine (French Burgundy is also known  as  CA Pinot Noir. 

 (Our variance 2 cups of either Pinot Noir or Zinfandel wine. Both provide rich flavor to the dish.)
2 cups chicken broth
5 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence (savory, fennel,basil,lavender flowers)
3 bay leaves

Fresh Parsley, chopped for garnish

Coat chicken pieces in flour, salt & pepper. The easy way is to put everything together in a paper or plastic bag – and shake & set aside.
In a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. 

Browning chicken


Brown chicken in hot bacon fat on both sides. Pull chicken from pan and set aside.

Saute vegetables


Add garlic, onions, mushrooms and carrots.  Saute 2 minutes to soften.
Pour brandy into small glass or measuring cup. 
Remove pan from heat (turn off flame) add brandy or cognac put back on heat. 
Next step Flambé..
Light the fumes within the pan by using a long match or long lighter and holding just above the pan. 
The Brandy will catch fire and the flames will burn out within one minute.  When the flames die down, add the chicken stock and then gradually stir in the wine. 

Add the wine...

 When the wine is well blended add  the herbs; 5 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence (savory, fennel,basil,lavender flowers)
3 bay leaves cover and simmer for one hour. Then remove cover and simmer an additional 15 minutes to reduce the sauce.  To aid in the thickening process you might add t tablespoon tomato paste and stir in during the final simmering stage… Enjoy!



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