Red, red wine, you make food taste so fine

Being part French, I was curious to try this recipe for Coq Au Vin, which translates to Rooster with Wine. In my typical foodie fashion, I deviated from the traditional variation and found a quick and easy short cut. I didn’t use Rooster or even a whole chicken, as many recipes call for, and I used Wegmans’ red cooking wine verses the Burgundy which the traditional variation calls for. Instead I followed the recipe from this blog. It was not intimidating and it turned out phenomenal.

The depth of flavor in this dish was incredible, making me promise to use red wine in my cooking more often. As Jeanette recommended, I served it with the Roasted Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes, which gave me my first opportunity to cook with Herbes de Provence. A combination of savory, fennel, basil, thyme and lavender, it’s basically like the French version of Chinese Five Spice, though there is apparently no solid evidence that the mixture originated in Provence, a region of southeastern France on the Mediterranean.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the ingredients list. You will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon, uncured, without nitrates (I used pork bacon), chopped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 ounces of crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 1 ½ chicken broth
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped and divided
  • 4 teaspoons of flour

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and set aside.

Sauté the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and then transfer to a bowl.

Add olive oil to the pan and sauté until nicely browned on both sides; about three to four minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic to the skillet and sauté until brown, or for about four minutes. Add the wine, 1 ¼ cups of broth, bacon, thyme, tomato paste and one tablespoon parsley. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken pieces, bring the liquid to a simmer and then lower the heat. Cook covered for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the flour with ¼ cup of broth, stirring until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens; about three to four minutes. Season the final dish with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley (if you’re fancy like that).

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