Le Coq au Vin de Michel Richard

For those of you who live in the DC metro area, be sure to check out the Garden Café at the National Gallery of Art.  The Garden Café changes its menu periodically to accompany featured art expositions.  Through February 10th, 2011 the Garden Café is calling itself “Garden Café Français” and is serving fantastically good French food. . .including a buffet for just under $20/person.  You can request recipe cards for some of the dishes, including the Coq au Vin recipe listed below.

Coq au Vin

Created by Michel Richard for Garden Café Français

Serves 4
4 large chicken legs with thighs
attached, each piece skinned
4 large thyme sprigs or 1 tablespoon
dried thyme, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1½ cups Cabernet Sauvignon (or
another dry red wine)
2 slices bacon, halved lengthwise and
cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
16 pearl onions, peeled
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
6 ounces beet juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
16 medium large button mushrooms
(10 to 12 ounces total), ends
salt and freshly ground black pepper
to taste

To marinate, place the chicken legs in a single layer in a large nonmetallic dish.
Add thyme, garlic, wine, and beet juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning
the chicken with tongs several times.

To cook, preheat oven to 300° F. Melt the butter in a large, oven-proof pot over
medium heat, and fry the bacon until brown, stirring occasionally. Add onions and
carrots and cook until golden. Add flour and stir for 3 minutes over medium low
heat. Pour in chicken stock with tomato paste and stir, scraping up any browned
bits on the bottom of the pan. Add marinade and bring to a boil. Add chicken legs,
cover the pot, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, turning the chicken
and stirring halfway. (This can be prepared several hours ahead and set aside at
cool room temperature.)

To serve, remove the chicken from the pot using tongs. Add mushrooms
to the cooking liquid and boil for about 20 minutes until sauce is thickened and
reduced by about half (to approximately 1¼ cups). Discard the sprigs of thyme.
Season with salt and pepper. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and arrange
on four plates. Turn chicken in the sauce, heating gently if cold, and place in the
center of the plates. Spoon remaining sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.

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