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Coq au Vin Blanc

Or, in American, chicken braised in white wine.

People are pretty familiar with or at least have heard of coq au vin, the French bistro classic which is hearty chicken stew made with red wine.  Traditionally, this dish is made with an old rooster whose meat required a long braising time to get nice and tender.  I didn’t have an old rooster laying around so I just used a regular grocery store chicken.

I also used white wine instead of red wine to make the dish a little lighter.  The result is moist chicken that falls off the bone and practically melts in your mouth with perfectly tender veggies.

I would also like to note that this is the only mushroom I’ve ever liked.

Let’s prep our veggies!

You’ll need 3 russet potatoes cut into rounds, 3 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces, 1 pound cremini mushrooms cut in half,  one bag frozen pearl onions thawed and 8 cloves of garlic that have been smashed.

Take 8 slices of bacon that you’ve cut into strips and cook them in a large pot with a little olive oil.  When they’re crisp, remove them from the pot, leaving the drippings, and set aside on a paper towel.

Now it’s time for the chicken!  I used breasts and thighs because that’s what I like, but you could use whatever pieces you prefer.  You’ll need about 6 pieces total, and whichever pieces you choose just make sure they are skin-on and bone-in.

Season your chicken generously and brown each side in the bacon drippings.  If you have large pieces of chicken you may have to brown in two batches.

**HANDY TIP: To get the best brown on your chicken, pat pieces dry with a paper towel before seasoning.  Dry meat browns better!

Remove the browned chicken and set aside.  Drain off about half of the drippings and start browning the onions, garlic and mushrooms over medium-high heat.  After about 8 minutes, add the potatoes and carrots.

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/3 cup of flour and stir to coat the vegetables.

Pour in 2 1/2 cups of white wine and 2 cups of chicken broth.  Stir until you don’t see any more clumps of flour, scraping the bottom as you go to release any browned bits.

Add 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, all the chicken and half the bacon back into the pot.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cover.  Braise until the chicken and vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

Uncover the pot and cook for about 10 more minutes until the sauce thickens a bit.

Stir in about 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with remaining bacon to serve.

That’s not the best picture, but believe me when I say that this dish is a knockout!  The perfect thing for a cold winter weekend…enjoy!

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