Monday, December 15, 2008

Braised Chicken with Riesling - Coq au Vin Blanc

Coq au vin seems to be back in vogue. I've always loved this peasant treasure. As a matter of fact, I have two versions of it in my permanent recipe file. My vin rouge comes from the very old Dionne Lucas cookbook. I still love it, but it uses three types of wine plus good brandy, bacon and a mound of vegetables that need browning before going into the pot. It's very good, very French but a lot of work for a braise. The vin blanc is just much easier to make. My recipe comes from Alsace and is based on one developed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Need I ask which you think I make more often? The one requirement for this recipe is a reasonably dry and full-bodied Riesling. The name of these two dishes is actually a misnomer. The chicken originally used to make them was a tough old stewing hen. Copious amounts of wine and a long simmer were needed to tenderize the old girl. Our chickens are so tender that the modern braise bares no resemblance to the coq au vin of old. This is simple to do and absolutely delicious. With a luscious salad, crackling French bread and a slightly more formal presentation, family fare can be elevated to company status in an almost effortless fashion. Finish the meal with an apple or lemon tart and your reputation as a cook be enhanced. Once you try this you'll see why it's remained my permanent roster all these years. It really is a keeper!

Braised Chicken with Riesling

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
One 3 1/2-pound chicken, quartered
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Cognac (optional)
1 cup dry Riesling
6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup heavy cream

1) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add chicken, season with saltand pepper and cook over moderate heat until slightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Add shallot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add Cognac, if using, and carefully ignite it with a long match. When flames subside, add Riesling, cover and simmer over low heat until chicken breasts are just cooked, about 25 minutes. Transfer breasts to a large plate and cover with foil. Cover and simmer legs until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to plate.
2) Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat until liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Increase heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes.
3) In a bowl, blend flour and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir cream into the large skillet; bring to a simmer. Gradually whisk flour paste into cooking liquid and simmer, whisking, until no floury taste remains, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to skillet, add mushrooms and briefly reheat. Yield: 4 servings.


Soli Deo Gloria said...

I love Coq Au Vin, so I'm sure I'm going to love this, too! Thanks for sharing your recipe! Will try this after the holidays. To busy with the Christmas preparations :) - Ning

Martha said...

If we weren't going out to dinner tonight this would be the perfect dish for this cold and sleety day. I've made cog au vin but never with white! This will definitely be on the menu at Linderhof soon. Have already printed the recipe off.

Allie said...

My mouth is watering looking at the picture! Will be trying this after the holiday season for sure!

Pam said...

Oh Mary, it's 9:30 am and I am drooling over this beautiful meal. I love the idea of using white wine instead of red. I'll be trying this one soon. Excellent photo!

Maria said...

The mushrooms on top look so good! Nice work on this dish!

The Blonde Duck said...

I think culture's "peasant food" is usually the best! This looks so hard and elegant!

Patsyk said...

Sounds delicious!

Peter M said...

I didn't know coq au vin was ever passe. I've always enjoyed the dish and it's so comforting.

Your photos always get me hungry..good thing dinner's near.

Cathy said...

Your version of coq au vin sounds so, so good. I'm going to prepare this for dinner guests on Wednesday. If the weather cooperates, that is.

It's a little slippery around here today.

Tracy said...

Looks delicious!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Classic, there's a reason they call it classic, we will just keep going back to it over and over. It's just that good. Wonderful photo Mary!

Aggie said...

This sounds so wonderful! I have never tried coq au vin, I would love to try both versions now!!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Aggie, I hope you try coq au vin. It is really good and a nice recipe to have in your permanent file.

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