We love the winter months if for one thing only: Braising. When else can you create a one pot comfort food sensation, and warm the whole house at the same time?
Today we have taken the classic bourguignon preparation and substituted chicken thighs for the beef. Some may call this Coq Au Vin, but we like bacon, so we like bourguignon. Most everything else stays the same, but instead of egg noodles, we used mashed potatoes. As always, we suggest using thighs instead of any other cut – they remain moist, and soak up all of the good flavors.
Serves 2-4. Prep time, 30 mins, cooking time 2.5 hours.
2-3 lbs of Chicken thighs, trimmed
4 Large Carrots
1 lb of Mushrooms, Wild preferred, sliced
4 slices of Thick cut Bacon, Diced
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Bch of Fresh Italian Parsley
1 tbsp of Tomato Paste
4 tbsp of Flour
750ml Red Wine, inexpensive
1/2 cup Brandy or Cognac
1 Tsp of brown sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 tbsp of butter, no salt
2 tbsp of Heavy Cream
2 Cups of Beef Stock, high quality
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Heat large dutch oven, and add bacon. Stir occasionally, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside and remove all but 2 tblsp of bacon grease. Generously salt and pepper thighs and then coat with flour.
Brown thighs in bacon grease on both sides; about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Deglaze pan with Brandy, scraping up all browned bits from the bottom. When reduced by half, set aside by pouring on top of chicken.
Add one tblsp of bacon grease back to the pan (or olive oil) and sweat the onion, one (1) diced carrot, the thyme, and the garlic; about 3 minutes. Set aside with meat.
Now sautee the mushrooms with 2 tbsp of butter until most moisture as been removed. Set aside.
Add entire bottle of wine and tomato paste to pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add broth and repeat. Return vegetables (except for mushrooms) and chicken to the liquid, and cover the pot and place into the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours.
Remove pot from oven, and remove chicken to the side and cover with foil. Strain remaining liquid by removing all solids, add remaining 3 carrots sliced, the sauteed mushrooms and reduce on stove by half. Add remaining 2 tbsp of butter, sugar, and cream and bring to a simmer.
Serve with mashed potatoes, and crusty bread. Spoon sauce generously over chicken and include carrots and mushrooms. Garnish with chopped parsley.