Coq Au Vin

Yield 8
RECIPE Ingredients
Recipe notes
The traditional coq au vin recipe calls for a rooster, but the classic French stew can be made with chicken. Serve at a dinner party or a Sunday meal with the family.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. In a large skillet, bring the wine to a boil over high heat. Remove the skillet from the heat and, using a long match, ignite the wine. When the flames subside, whisk in the tomato paste.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in another large skillet. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over, about 12 minutes; transfer to a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the chicken pieces.
  3. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet and whisk in the flour; cook over moderate heat, whisking occasionally, until chestnut colored, about 4 minutes. Add the demi-glace, water and wine and bring to a boil, whisking. Pour the liquid over the chicken in the casserole. Tuck in the bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes for the breasts and 35 minutes for the drumsticks, thighs and wings. Transfer the chicken to a large platter as it is done; cover loosely with foil and keep warm.
  4. Set half of the casserole over the heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Skim the fat from the side that isn’t boiling and continue to boil until the sauce is reduced to about 2 cups and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the ventrèche over moderate heat until crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour the fat into a glass measuring cup and wipe out the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat to the skillet along with the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened and golden, about 7 minutes. Scatter the ventrèche and mushrooms over the chicken and serve right away, passing the sauce separately.