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Coq au Vin (Chicken Braised in Wine)

(by Ileana Canlas)

6 sprigs fresh thyme

6 sprigs fresh parsley

2 – 3 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces

4 c. full-bodied red wine such as cabernet, shiraz, or merlot

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 T. olive oil

10 oz. pearl onions, peeled

10 oz. bacon or pancetta, diced

12 oz. button mushrooms, quartered

1/2 t. Greek seasoning mix

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 T. unsalted butter, divided

1 c. chicken stock

2 T. flour or cornstarch

optional: finely chopped parsley leaves

24 baby carrots

3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

2 bay leaves

Tie thyme and parsley sprigs together with kitchen twine.

Combine wine, chicken, yellow onion, and herb bouquet in a bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.

Drain chicken, onions, and bouquet, reserving onions and wine separately, and set aside.

Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add pearl onions, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and tender, about 8 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon to drain fat, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Fry bacon for about 8 minutes until browned, and remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

Add mushrooms to pot, and cook, stirring, until they release all their moisture and brown lightly, about 8 minutes.

Transfer to bowl with pearl onions.

Rub chicken with Greek seasoning mix, salt and pepper, and add to pot with 1 T. butter.

Cook chicken, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

Add drained yellow onions to pot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Stir in reserved wine and chicken stock, then return chicken to pot along with bouquet of herbs.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in pearl onions and mushrooms.

Garnish with cooked bacon and parsley.

Serve with French bread, rice, or mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables–and a glass of nice French wine.

(Read The French Connection, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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