Sunday, November 28, 2010

Coq Au Vin

This is a nice Sunday dinner! 
     Coq refers to a "not so tender rooster" in French.  I used a Cornish Game Hen for this recipe instead of a scrawny rooster.  The title translates to rooster cooked in wine. 
     Recipe:  Saute in a braising pan:  a few small lardons, 3 whole garlic cloves and 3 pieces of celery stalk. 
     Add some chicken bouillon. 
     Add a bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaf and tarragon.  Add sea salt and black pepper. 
     Add pearl onions, morel mushrooms and carrot sticks. 
     Add the game hen and pour a half of a bottle of good dry red wine in the pot. 
     Place the braising pan, covered in an oven at 325 degrees.  Turn the hen a few times so the wine broth cooks into the entire hen.
     When the hen is almost done cooking, remove the lid and cook uncovered to brown the top half of the hen. 
     Assembly:  Set a trimmed toasted French bread crouton that is the same size of the base of the hen on a roasting pan.  Bake it in the oven to toast till it becomes crisp.  Place the crouton onto a serving platter. 
     Remove the coq au vin from the oven when the hen is done cooking. 
     Place the hen on the serving tray on top of the crouton. 
     Place the carrots, morels and pearl onions around the hen. 
     Strain the wine broth into a sauce pot and discard the herbs, garlic, celery and lardons. 
     Reduce the sauce and whisk in a little bit of beurre manie to tighten the sauce a little bit.  (Beurre Manie is kneaded chilled butter and flour.  It works like a simple roux to lightly thicken a sauce.)  The Vin Rouge sauce should be thin and not thick. 
     Pour the sauce over the hen and onto the serving tray. 
     This is a nice way to elegantly serve this entree.  Classic elegance is hard to beat!  The hen is so tender and full of flavor.  The morels add depth to the sauces flavor.  The pearl onions are traditional in this dish and really are great with the hen.  I used a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon but a French Domaine Bordeaux or Pinot Noir would be good with too too.  Delicious!  ...   Shawna

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